1st Edition

Environmental Literacy and New Digital Audiences

By Pat Brereton Copyright 2019
    222 Pages
    by Routledge

    222 Pages
    by Routledge

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    Environmental literacy and education is not simply a top-down process of disseminating correct attitudes, values and beliefs. Rather, it is one that incorporates and facilitates a dialogue with audiences of different persuasions and at all levels of engagement, to help highlight and co-produce consensual solutions to the major eco-challenges of our time.

    Exploring the growing power and influence of media formats and outlets like YouTube and gaming, alongside fictional and documentary film, this book considers new modes of environmental literacy to ascertain the effectiveness of digital and filmic stimuli on an audience’s perception of environmental issues, and its specific impact on environmental action. Drawing on extensive research across a broad range of media formats, Brereton establishes how environmental narratives and meanings are created and being received by contemporary audiences.

    This book will be of great interest to students and scholars of environmental communication and media, eco-criticism and environmental humanities more broadly.



    1 Environmental Literacy Introduction

    2 Understanding Audience Psychology and Trigger Points for Promoting Environmental Literacy

    3 Promoting New Media Literacy

    4 Food Documentaries and Green Anxieties: Actively promoting Environmental Literacy

    5 Eco-Documentaries: Old Problems New Aesthetic Opportunities

    6 Contemporary Hollywood Blockbusters and Environmental Narratives

    7 An Environmental Reading of Post 9/11 American Televisual Series

    8 Netflix and Emerging Streaming Networks: New Forms of Immersive and Addictive Narratives and Characterisation

    9 Video Games and Environmental Learning: New Modes of Audience Engagement

    10 Going Viral: YouTube and New Forms of Environmental Literacy

    11 Conclusion: Constructing an Environmental Literacy Consensus through New Media



    Pat Brereton is a Professor at Dublin City University, Ireland, and has taught and published extensively around environmental communications and all forms of new media.

    "The study is informed by Brereton’s vast expertise and continuing interest in environmental ethics and the public sphere. Consequently, the questions about audience-hood and environmentalism that he tackles are not limited to merely how media audiences consume and understand environmental messages, but rather how those audiences might actually be motivated to take social action. This makes his examination of the role of media in the formation of environmental citizenship, understood as civic participation in an age of ecological crisis, a crucial resource for those of us who are committed to confronting the challenge of climate change." -- Patrick D. Murphy, Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies, Klein College of Media and Communication, Temple University, USA

    "This is a much needed and very accessibly written book on popular audio visual media which fills a significant gap in environmental communication research. In this age of rapidly spreading fake news and misinformation through social media sites, an ability to critically interpret visual media is critical. Through an array of fascinating examples from food documentaries, to video games (such as Pokemon Go), You Tube videos (such as Prince Ea), to Netflix and blockbuster Hollywood movies, Brereton expertly demonstrates the value of critical media literacy, convincingly arguing for it to be embedded within all media and communications education." -- Alison Anderson, Professor in Sociology, University of Plymouth, UK