MEDIA AND mass communication is a factor which has rapidly become an integral part of everyones day to day life, no matter on which part of the earth you are. From entertainment to awareness, from information to advertisement, and from technology to household; media offers a diversity of dimensions to look into. One such dimension is the awareness about environment and the interaction between a man and his biosphere. The debate on environment issues has now manifested itself through interdisciplinary and unique ways. Every other day we come across several issues of environment which influence our lives explicitly. Therefore, it stands pertinent to pay attention to environmental issues in order to assure a healthy standard of living.
Since ages, all the aspects of science and technology have been attributed to the scientists only. But with the passage of time, man realized that every individual has rights and duties towards the biotic and a-biotic factors around him. So, unless a man decides to help himself to manage his life and surroundings, no scientist could help him. Media plays a very important role in bridging the gap between a layman and the information about his environment. Medias involvement is necessary in bringing the environmental issues in to limelight.
Intellectuals believe that media can play a strategic role in promoting the environmental awareness at public level. According to the Environmental Management Handbook by Sven-Olof Ryding, media plays its part in promoting a holistic view. The influence could be diverse, since it has its access to each and every individual at local, regional, national and global level. It is a powerful tool, since it has a direct impact on human psychology. For instance, a news on polluting industrial sites, chemical fumes and effluents and their harms, all this and many more could be communicated to the viewers through channeling the documentaries on television and radio. Also, various success stories from around the world could be shared on news channels, as well as the channels on special plots.
mediaMedia is now a part of every culture. People generally follow and accept whatever is communicated to them in a stylized manner. It manipulates the mindsets in to whatever the direction the mastermind has planned. The piece of literature on media, culture and environment by Alison Anderson quotes that there exists a casual relationship between media and public opinion. The public opinion could be made up and broken up through presenting them whatever one wants in a fancy way. The book further quotes an event followed by a German study of Brosius and Kepplinger 1990. Germans experienced a practical evidence where medias agenda over energy supply issues took effect through its strong correlation with general public.
Another environmental activist, John A. Hannigan, in his book Environmental Sociology further highlighted medias role in three different magnitudes. Firstly the book holds that media could be the most powerful element in spreading environmental education. The knowledge about mad cow disease, industrial pollution, agricultural pollution of fertilizers, oil spills on the sea shores, climate change and the ills of genetically modified organisms were only able to be brought to light through media and now we can see the revolution of science to eliminate them. The second important characteristic of media is the way it hits the target audience through specific activism. May it be documentaries, TV shows, websites or newspapers, all the mediums could be employed to spread the environmental awareness through hitting the right audience including children, teenagers, youth, adults, old ages. Environmental Journalism could be used for mainstreaming the technological advances to handle the environmental issues. It does not merely highlights the stories on natural disasters but it is behind sculpting the ideologies. The third and the most important feature that the book brings to fore is the pivotal role that the media could play in influencing the policies. It has the ability to pick up the conditions which turn in to issues and issues become the policy concerns.
Hence, environmentalism and media should necessarily go hand in hand. If the environmental concerns are not paid the due attention, they would become merely a part of public discourse or a part of a political process.

By Web Team

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