Areas of Study 7 6. Defining Environmental Communication Nature, Communication, and the Public Sphere Human Communication as Symbolic Action. Environmental Communication and the Public Sphere (5th ed.) by Phaedra C. Pezzullo. Read online, or download in secure PDF or secure EPUB format. Robert Cox, Environmental Communication and the Public Sphere, 2nd edition ( ). 2. prehexfejefne.tk
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PDF download for Review: Environmental Communication and the Public Sphere , Article Information. No Access. Article Information. Volume: issue: 1. Ebook Environmental Communication And The Public Sphere currently available at prehexfejefne.tk for review only, if you need complete ebook Environmental. The dual role of the media in environmental communication as a public sphere and as political actors · Mi Sun Park. Forest Science and.
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site Drive Cloud storage from site. Alexa Actionable Analytics for the Web. In his book Language as Symbolic Action, Burke stated that even the most unemotional language is necessarily persuasive. This is because our language and other symbolic acts do something, as well as say something. Language actively shapes our understanding, creates meaning, and orients us to a wider world.
The view of communication as a form of symbolic action might be clearer if we contrast it with an earlier view, the Shannon—Weaver model of communication. Shortly after World War II, Claude Shannon and Warren Weaver proposed a model that defined human communication as simply the transmission of information from a source to a receiver.
There was little effort in this model to account for meaning or for the ways in which communication acts on or shapes our awareness. Unlike the Shannon—Weaver model, symbolic action assumes that language and symbols do more than transmit information.
If we focus on symbolic action, then we can offer a richer definition. Defined this way, environmental communication serves two different functions: 1. Environmental communication is pragmatic. It educates, alerts, persuades, and helps us solve environmental problems.
It is this instrumental sense of communication that probably occurs to us initially. It is the vehicle or means that we use in problem solving and is often part of public education campaigns. Environmental communication is constitutive. Embedded within the pragmatic role of language and other forms of symbolic action is a subtler level. By constitutive, we mean that our communication also helps us construct or compose representations of nature and environmental problems as subjects for our understanding.
Such communication invites a particular perspective, evokes certain values and not others , and thus creates conscious referents for our attention. For example, different images of nature may invite us to perceive forests and rivers as natural resources for use or exploitation, or as vital life support systems something to protect.
Such communication orients our consciousness of the possibility of an abrupt shift in climate and its effects; it therefore constitutes, or raises, this possibility as a subject for our understanding. Environmental communication as a pragmatic and constitutive vehicle serves as the framework for the chapters in this book and builds on the three core principles: 1. Human communication is a form of symbolic action.
Our beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors relating to nature and environmental problems are mediated or influenced by communication. The public sphere emerges as a discursive space in which diverse voices engage the attention of others about environmental concerns. These principles obviously overlap see Figure 1.
And when we communicate publicly with others, we share these understandings and invite reactions to our views. Act Locally! Pragmatic and Constitutive Communication in Messages About Climate Change Examples of communication about climate change occur daily in news media, websites, blogs, TV ads, and other sources. Select one of these that interests you.
After reflecting on this message, answer these questions: 1. What pragmatic function does this communication serve? Who is its intended audience? What is it trying to persuade this audience to think or do? Does this message draw on constitutive functions, as well, in its use of certain words or visual images? How do these words or images create referents for your attention and understanding, invite a particular perspective, or orient you to a set of concerns?
Human Communication as Symbolic Action Earlier, we defined environmental communication as a form of symbolic action. Our language and other symbolic acts do something. Films, online sites and social media, photographs, popular magazines, and other forms of human symbolic behavior act upon us. They invite us to view the world this way rather than that way to affirm these values and not those. Our stories and words warn us, but they also invite us to celebrate.
Language that invites us to celebrate also leads to real-world outcomes. Consider the American gray wolf. But it was not always this way. It was not until the mids that the U. Fish and Wildlife Service initiated a restoration plan for wolves.
Figure 1. In , Secretary of Interior Bruce Babbitt celebrated the return of the first American gray wolf to Yellowstone National Park in a speech marking the event. Earlier that year, he had helped carry and release the wolf into the transition area in the park where she would mate with other wolves also being returned.
In recalling the biblical story of the flood, Babbitt evoked a powerful narrative for revaluing wolves and other endangered species. In retelling this ancient story, he invited the public to embrace a similar ethic in the present day: And when the waters receded, and the dove flew off to dry land, God set all the creatures free, commanding them to multiply upon the earth.
Babbitt, , paras. National Park Service Communication enables us to make sense about our world; it orients us toward events, people, and yes, wildlife. And, because different individuals and generations may value nature in diverse ways, we find our voices to be a part of a conversation with others about this world. Secretary Babbitt invoked an ancient story of survival to invite the American public to appreciate anew the Endangered Species Act.
So, too, our communication mediates or helps us make sense of our own relationships with nature, what we value, and how we shall act. We explore this aspect of communication more closely in Chapters 2 and 3. The natural world definitely exists: Forests are logged or remain standing; streams may be polluted or clean; and large glaciers in Antarctica are calving into the Southern Ocean.
Simply put, whatever else the environment may be, it is deeply entangled with our very human ways of interacting with, and knowing, the wider world. At a basic level, our beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors toward nature are mediated by human ways of representing the world—through our language, television, photos, art, and contemplation.
Mediating is another way of saying that our acts of pointing to and naming something are our means for recognizing and understanding it. When we name the natural world, we also orient ourselves in this world.
We become located or interested in it; we have a view onto this world. For instance, is wilderness a place of primeval beauty, or is it a territory that is dark, dangerous, and alien to humans? Or is it something else? Early settlers in New England viewed North American forests as forbidding and dangerous. Puritan writer Michael Wigglesworth named or described the region as A waste and howling wilderness, Where none inhabited But hellish fiends, and brutish men That Devils worshiped.
Consider the weather and climate : Periodically, winters in the United States and other parts of the world are bitingly cold, with record low temperatures and blizzards. Climate scientists, on the other hand, distinguish weather—changing every few days—and climate, measured in longer, year periods. For example, during the winter of —, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC —a body of over 2, scientists from countries—issued a summary of recent research. This is what we meant earlier in saying our beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors relating are mediated by communication.
Our point is that, although nature invites different responses from us, it is, in itself, politically silent.
Ultimately, it is we—through our symbolic actions— who invest its seasons and species with meaning and value. Public Sphere as Discursive Space A third theme central to this book is the idea of the public sphere or, more accurately, public spheres. Earlier, we defined a public sphere as a realm of influence that is created when individuals engage others in communication—through conversation, argument, debate, or questioning—about subjects of shared concern or topics that affect a wider community.
The public comes into being in our everyday conversations as well as in more formal interactions when we talk about the environment. And the public sphere is not just words: Visual and nonverbal symbolic actions, such as marches, banners, and photographs, also have prompted debate and questioning of environmental policy as readily as editorials, speeches, and TV newscasts.
As we engage with others, we translate our private concerns into public matters and thus create circles of influence that affect how we and others view the environment and our relation to it. In public hearings, newspaper editorials, blog posts, speeches at rallies, street festivals, and on countless other occasions in which we engage others in conversation or debate, the public sphere emerges as a potential sphere of influence.
But private concerns are not always translated into public action, and technical information about the environment may remain in scientific journals, proprietary files of corporations, or other private sources. Therefore, it is important to note that two other spheres of influence exist parallel to the public sphere. Communication scholar Thomas Goodnight named these areas of influence the personal and technical spheres.
In doing this, Silent Spring gave rise to a sphere of influence as she translated technical matters into subjects of public interest. The idea of the public sphere itself, however, can be misunderstood. Each of these ideas is a misunderstanding of the public sphere.
First, the public sphere is not only, or even primarily, an official space. Although there are officially sponsored spaces such as public hearings that invite citizens to communicate about the environment, these official sites do not exhaust the public sphere.
In fact, discussion and debate about environmental concerns more often occur outside of government meeting rooms and courts. The early fifth-century bce Greeks called these meeting spaces of everyday life agoras, the public squares or marketplaces where citizens gathered to exchange ideas about the life of their community.
Similarly, we find everyday spaces and opportunities today, publicly, to voice our concerns and influence the judgment of others about environmental concerns. Second, the public sphere is neither monolithic nor a uniform assemblage of all citizens in the abstract. As the realm of influence that is created when individuals engage others discursively, the public sphere assumes concrete and local forms: They include calls to talk radio programs, blogs, letters to the editors of newspapers, or local meetings where citizens question public officials, for example, about risks to their health from contaminated well water.
As Habermas reminds us, the public sphere comes into existence whenever individuals share, question, argue, mourn, or celebrate with others about their shared concerns. Such a view of the public sphere acknowledges the diverse voices and styles that characterize a robust, participatory democracy.
In fact, in this book, we introduce the voices of ordinary citizens and the special challenges they face in gaining a hearing about matters of environmental and personal survival in their communities.
Whether in local community centers, on blogs, at rallies, or in corporate-sponsored TV ads, individuals and groups speaking about the environment appear in diverse sites and public spaces. In this final section, we describe some of the voices you may hear in the public sphere communicating about environmental issues. These include the voices of 1.
Citizens and community groups Environmental groups Scientists and scientific discourse Corporations and lobbyists News media and environmental journalists 6. Student and campus groups 7. Anti-environmentalist and climate change critics Individuals in these seven groups take on multiple communication roles—writers, press officers, group spokespersons, community or campus organizers, information technology specialists, communication directors, marketing and campaign consultants, and more.
Some are motivated by urban sprawl or development projects that destroy their homes as well as green spaces in their cities. Gibbs also had read a newspaper report that Hooker Chemical Company, a subsidiary of Occidental Petroleum, had buried dangerous chemicals on land it later sold to the school board Center for Health, Environment, and Justice, Finally, in , the residents succeeded in persuading the federal government to relocate those who wanted to leave Love Canal.
The U. Justice Department also prosecuted Hooker Chemical Company, imposing large fines Shabecoff, , pp. In rural parishes in Louisiana, in inner-city neighborhoods in Detroit and Los Angeles, on Native American reservations, and in communities in India, China, Europe, the Philippines, Latin America, Africa, and throughout the world, community groups have launched campaigns to protest smog and pollution, halt toxic runoff from mining operations, and stop illegal logging of community forests.
As they do, activists and residents face the challenge of finding their voice and overcoming barriers to express their concerns and persuade others to join them in demanding accountability of public officials.
Environmental Groups Environmental organizations are among the most visible sources of communication about the environment. These groups come in a wide array of organizational types and networks, online and on the ground. They range, in the United States, from grassroots groups in local communities to nationwide organizations like the Nature Conservancy nature.
Other groups, such as Conservation International conservation. These groups address a diversity of issues and often differ in their modes of advocacy. Congress on energy policy, while the Nature Conservancy and local conservancy groups protect endangered habitat on private lands by downloading the properties themselves. Other groups such as Greenpeace and Rainforest Action Network ran. From asthma in children caused by air pollution and neurological illnesses from mercury poisoning by eating contaminated fish to an accelerating loss of species of plants and animals, the early warnings of scientists have contributed substantially to public awareness, debate, and corrective actions.
Corporate opposition to environmental standards has developed for two reasons: 1 restrictions on the traditional uses of land for example, mining, logging, or oil and gas drilling and 2 perceived threats to the economic interests of industries such as petrochemicals, energy production, computers, and transportation. Worried by the threat of tighter limits on air and water discharges from factories and refineries, affected corporations formed trade associations such as the Business Round Table and the Chemical Manufacturers Association to conduct public relations campaigns and lobby Congress on behalf of their industries.
We explore some of these efforts in Chapter Public involvement affects how problems and solutions are identified and defined since participants can have a great influence on how issues are framed.
In the fields of science and risk communication, much attention has been directed towards the role of deliberative activities and processes for public participation and communication.
Such activities include public hearings, conferences and advisory groups see, e. Brake and Weitkamp ; Hagendijk and Irwin ; Lidskog et al. Increased public involvement may reduce, for example, mutual distrust.
However, certain drawbacks of public involvement may appear. Increased transparency and public debate regarding complex and uncertain risk issues may result in increasing worries and larger unpredictability of risk perception and behaviour cf.
Frewer This in turn could be problematic for an efficient governance process cf. Irwin According to Ortwin Renn, to communicate risk to the public is a difficult task Renn These specific functions of risk communication all require slightly different forms of communication, including documentation, information, mutual dialogue and involvement.
In risk communication the issue of credibility is of key importance and so too the ability to catch those who are potentially interested Renn On the one hand, it is about including the public as citizens organised and individually in governance processes via, for example, hearings. On the other hand, it is about raising awareness and making these issues a prominent part of the public discourse putting them on the public agenda. Political decisions are widely affected by the relationship between the agendas and frames of policy-makers, the public and the media cf.
Asp The news media and public debate are essential for communication between policy-makers and the public and for creating common agendas and framing risks. Over the last decade, so-called social media like Twitter and Facebook have also been a tool for policy-makers to communicate with and inform the general public.
The media is also an arena for public representation and for different forms of participation such as submitting letters to editors or writing opinion pieces , not least when it comes to environmental risk issues cf. Media and journalism studies have highlighted that the news media generally articulates an elitist discourse see, e. Shoemaker and Reese , something that is the case with regard to environmental news as well.
Beck are much more rare cf. Cox Research also shows that those who appear in the news are able to influence on how a problem is framed in terms of causes and solutions see, e. Entman The concept of framing has roots in both psychology and sociology and in the work of sociologist Erving Goffman.
Goffman discusses framing as an interpretive framework that helps individuals to process information Goffman ; Pan and Kosicki The concept of framing can be used in different kinds of analyses and has been applied in studies of stakeholder participation and communication within governance processes see, e.
De Marchi ; Dreyer et al. Risks are inherently difficult to communicate as different interpretations and implications are bound to emerge. Framing is the work of defining and answering questions like: What is at stake? What is the risk? Framing is an essential component in all phases of risk management while perhaps particularly important in the pre-assessment stage; see Linke et al. Framing denotes processes in which actors deal with social and ecological complexity.
Stakeholders develop their arguments through frames, and these frames also help them find common ground for negotiations and compromises.
Policy-making processes may stimulate rich debates and reflection both within and across frames, making stakeholders and the general public able to develop arguments, debate and reflect critically on policy statements.
Used reflectively, frames such as the ecosystem approach, biodiversity, overfishing, precaution, sustainability and many others are useful for perceiving and understanding sets of problems in novel ways. The multilayered character of these frames may open up interpretative flexibility cf. Such flexibility provides both barriers and bridges to communication. Framing as such can also be viewed in light of communication and media texts. In this setting, frames can be said to define the problem, diagnose the causes, make moral statements and also suggest solutions to the problem at hand, even though a frame does not necessarily have to include all elements Entman Media framing functions as a way to construct a specific environmental issue and elicit a response or conclusion from the media recipients Hansen In the next section, we will present our empirical findings and analyse risk communication in relation to our selected five environmental risk issues relevant to the Baltic Sea.
There are also a lack of regional and transnational networks and communicative structures for information sharing with and involvement of the public.
However, there are some exceptions as discussed below. Among other things, this organisation serves as a communicative platform and meeting place for different actors and interests Hassler et al. According to the case study report on chemical pollution, the EU and HELCOM are platforms of communication for politicians and authorities, but not for independent single scientists or laboratories Udovyk et al.
There is of course also communication within and among the different organs of the EU. However, the complexity of the EU creates difficulties for communication inside the organisation. This is, for example, noted in the eutrophication case study where communication between authorities at the national level is less about institutionalised formal communication, but instead about informal communication and personal contacts and networks, created through a tight interplay between science and policy Haahti et al.
These personal contacts are not often easily applied across the entire BSR Udovyk et al. The lack of communication and tools and platforms for successful communication is often identified as a barrier to risk management and implementation.
An example of this is that of IAS. According to the case study report on IAS, cooperation and communication between the key stakeholders was highly unsatisfactory. The weak communication between the main players, together with the lack of public debate, was identified as the main reason for low public awareness on the IAS issue Lemke et al. Overfishing is the risk area with the most established forms of regional risk communication.
Linke et al. RACs are advisory institutions set up by the EU Commission with representatives from the fishing industry and different environmental groups NGOs and are often put forward as an innovative example of regional stakeholder participation Linke and Jentoft ; Sellke et al. If broad inclusion is the ideal for risk governance, it is necessary to not have a static idea of who stakeholders are.
A static view of stakeholders presupposes what issues are at stake and who is to be seen as holding a stake in that issue. In fact, the very definition of who the legitimate stakeholders are is part of the framing process. Governance structures, including organisations and institutions, shape these framing processes.
We found that the most advanced form of regionalisation among our five case studies was in the area of fishing with RACs as the main example of multi-stakeholder regionalised advice procedures.
There is however a critique directed towards the RAC system both from stakeholders themselves environmental NGOs complain about the power asymmetries that benefit the fishing industry and among scholars. Their conclusion is that if the aim is to broaden the knowledge base of fisheries management, stakeholders need to be included earlier in the governance process cf.
We find examples of all of these in our cases. In the cases of oil transportation, overfishing and eutrophication, communication can be characterised as one way from authorities to a wider public. It appears in the form of information such as statements, press releases and reports. Two-way communication and dialogue are sometimes established via different projects, which often include organised stakeholders as partners but not links to the general public.
There are different media and tools for communication to and with the public, for example, eco-labels, documents, reports, articles, laws and regulation, meetings and seminars.
Our results point to the preference for using digital media platforms and webpages. Different actors however use different forms of communication. Through these channels, NGOs provide information, discussion forums and ideas on what the individual citizen can do to prevent or mitigate Baltic Sea-related problems. Through its website HELCOM provides a large amount of publicly accessible documentation and information on the five cases.
The information formats used, for example, indicator fact sheets and thematic reports, are primarily produced for targeted users at national and Baltic-wide levels. The website mainly meets the information needs of those who already express an interest in marine environmental risk governance.
These include information brochures, videos and television and radio series, 3 all with the potential to raise the awareness of those who have as yet not taken an interest in the issues so far Dreyer et al. A significant amount of documentation and information related to environmental issues at national and EU levels is made available to the public through the websites of responsible authorities.
Some websites also provide more specific information. Take for example actors dealing with chemicals like the Swedish Chemicals Agency KEMI that has an established and widely used website with a large number of databases and up-to-date information.
In the area of fisheries, industry representatives have designed a website www. This is, according to the interviewees, mainly a response to the media framing of overfishing Sellke et al. A wealth of information — from general to highly detailed, much of this related to risk assessment matters — is made available on the website of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea ICES. The case studies in our project do not provide examples of any websites of responsible authorities that attempt to respond to the particular concerns of the general citizen.
This is different from risk communication related to, for example, food safety issues cf. Dreyer et al. WWF employs a traffic light system as a popularised way of informing the public or in this case the consumers about the sustainability practices related to particular fishes sold in the supermarket. Also green marketing, certification and labelling are used as tools for bringing simple and concise types of information to the public. A special form of communication, which is mainly used in business-to-business relations or business-to-authority relations used in the case of hazardous chemicals, is the so-called MSDS Material Safety Data Sheets.
Actors such as industries and NGOs with enough resources also engage in lobbying activities in the EU and national forums for decision-making. NGOs can themselves work as communicative brokers between other actors.
There are a number of research projects concerning governance of risks in BSR.