1st Edition

Environmental Risks and the Media

Edited By Barbara Adam, Stuart Allan, Cynthia Carter Copyright 2000
    294 Pages
    by Routledge

    294 Pages
    by Routledge

    Environmental Risks and the Media explores the ways in which environmental risks, threats and hazards are represented, transformed and contested by the media. At a time when popular conceptions of the environment as a stable, natural world with which humanity interferes are being increasingly contested, the medias methods of encouraging audiences to think about environmental risks - from the BSE or 'mad cow' crisis to global climate change - are becoming more and more controversial.
    Examining large-scale disasters, as well as 'everyday' hazards, the contributors consider the tensions between entertainment and information in media coverage of the environment. How do the media frame 'expert', 'counter-expert' and 'lay public' definitions of environmental risk? What role do environmental pressure groups like Greenpeace or 'eco-warriors' and 'green guerrillas' play in shaping what gets covered and how? Does the media emphasis on spectacular events at the expense of issue-sensitive reporting exacerbate the public tendency to overestimate sudden and violent risks and underestimate chronic long-term ones?

    Introduction: the media politics of environmental risk PART I Mapping environmental risks 1 TV news, lay voices and the visualisation of environmental risks 2 Interest group strategies and journalistic norms: news media framing of environmental issues 3 Claims-making and framing in British newspaper coverage of the ‘Brent Spar’ controversy 4 The burrowers: news about bodies, tunnels and green guerrillas PART II Denaturalising risk politics 5 Environmental pressure politics and the ‘risk society’ 6 ‘Industry causes lung cancer’: would you be happy with that headline? Environmental health and local politics 7 The media time scapes of BSE news 8 Reporting risks: problematising public participation and the Human Genome Project PART III Bodies, risks and public environments 9 Selling control: ideological dilemmas of sun, tanning, risk and leisure 10 Exclusionary environments: the media career of youth homelessness 11 The female body at risk: media, sexual violence and the gendering of public environments 12 ‘Landscapes of fear’: public places, fear of crime and the media PART IV Globalising environments at risk 13 Communicating climate change through the media: predictions, politics and perceptions of risk 14 Global citizenship, the environment and the media 15 Mediating the risks of virtual environments


    Stuart Allan is Senior Lecturer in Media and Cultural Studies at the University of the West of England, Bristol. Barbara Adam is Reader in the School of Social Science at Cardiff University. Cynthia Carter is Lecturer in the School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies at Cardiff University.

    'greatest strenght of the book is the depth and range of articles and topics presented' 'strongly recommended to those with an interest in environmental issues and/or media sociology generally.'

    'Sifting through the chapters is rewarding, producing essays that are on target.' - Allan Mazur, Syracuse University