Going Green Digitally? Environmental crisis, consumption patterns and the evolving role of media

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Resource or Project Abstract

The need to move towards a sustainable society is fast becoming an urgent one. Climate change is a focusing device that highlights the threats to our ecosystem caused by unsustainable lifestyles of those in the global North. This project therefore acknowledges a pressing need in Ireland for behaviour change towards sustainability. It analyses the role of the media industries as actors that can either encourage behaviour change, or support ?business as usual? unsustainable practices.

Key to this project is the concept of ?creative destruction?. This indicates an opportunity to imagine economic scenarios that address the inequalities and negative legacy of neoliberalism, while transitioning to a sustainable economy and society. It implies that out of a crisis ? in our contemporary setting both economic and environmental ? opportunities can arise for a reimagining of the future. The research therefore explores ideas from economics such as growth, waste, crisis, ?fixes? to crisis, resilience and progress. This is to re-evaluate our baselines for so-called progress that move beyond narrow economic indicators such as GDP, and favour measurement tools that also factor societal measures and environmental stability. The research also explores ideas about our environment, how it is valued in our current economic system, and how it can be thought of in a more rounded way as a ?metabolism? between economy and society.

The project takes the stance that the media industries cannot be taken in isolation for analysis outside the broader economic contexts. Therefore the project is situated on a backdrop of the economic crisis that began to unfold in 2007. When considered in this way, the media industries are revealed as subject to market influences, the requirement to restore growth, and ?business as usual? policies in the wider economy. These industries often depend on advertising for their own growth, which in itself is dependent on continued unsustainable consumption. In the Irish context, the state broadcaster is a key actor in disseminating information about sustainability. The project therefore analysed television news broadcasting during the release of the IPCC AR5 reports in 2013-14. It found that the journalistic content could be considered as ?bundled? with advertising content, potentially diluting messages towards sustainability.

The project also analysed policy at international, regional (EU) and Irish levels to ascertain the extent to which ?business as usual? measures are foregrounded. It found a range of policy instruments, some of which were progressive, and some of which favoured aggressive market-based solutions with little regard for the extent to which these instruments merely acted as a temporary ?fix?.

The report on this project is broken down into six chapters. Chapter 1 provides a short introduction to the project, its aims and themes, and its structure. Chapter 2 outlines the three key areas of enquiry that the project undertook. These were under the themes of economy, environment and media. Chapter 3 provides a summary of the policy research undertaken at international, regional (EU) and national (IE) levels. Chapter 4 provides a case study of Irish news and current affairs media that was undertaken during the release of the IPCC AR5 reports. Chapter 5 outlines the dissemination strategies adopted, including the provision of digital media animations for dissemination. Chapter 6 identifies key pressures for Irish society when charged with the remit of moving towards greater sustainability. It offers some suggestions for informing policy, and it develops suggestions for solutions to the issues raised through the research. It also provides some concluding remarks on the systemic issues that the project identified as potential barriers to sustainability.

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Contact Information for This Resource

Trish Morgan
Dublin City University
Researcher
School of Communications, Dublin City University, Glasnevin, Dublin 9, Ireland
Telephone: n/a
e-mail: trish.morgan@dcu.ie

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Access Information For This Resource

SAFER-Data Display URL http://erc.epa.ie/safer/iso19115/display?isoID=3148
Resource Keywordssustainability, crisis, media, economy, digital, animation, policy, planning
EPA/ERTDI/STRIVE Project Code2013-SD-FS-1
EPA/ERTDI/STRIVE Project ThemeEnvironmental Technologies
Resource Availability: Any User Can Download Files From This Resource
Public-Open
Limitations on the use of this ResourceNONE
Number of Attached Files (Publicly and Openly Available for Download): 0
Project Start Date Monday 2nd December 2013 (02-12-2013)
Earliest Recorded Date within any attached datasets or digital objects Monday 2nd December 2013 (02-12-2013)
Most Recent Recorded Date within any attached datasets or digital objects Friday 24th June 2016 (24-06-2016)
Published on SAFERFriday 24th February 2017 (24-02-2017)
Date of Last EditFriday 24th February 2017 at 19:05:24 (24-02-2017)
Datasets or Files Updated On Friday 24th February 2017 at 19:03:51 (24-02-2017)

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Geographical and Spatial Information Related To This Resource

Description of Geographical Characteristics of This Project or Dataset
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Supplementary Information About This Resource

In this section some supplementary information about this resource is outlined. Lineage information helps us to understand why this project was carried out, what policy or research requirements did it fulfil, etc. Lineage is important in understanding the rationale behind the carrying out of a project or the collection of a specific dataset etc. Links to web sites, applications, papers, etc are outlined to provide you with additional information or supplementary reading about the project or dataset

Lineage information about this project or dataset
The project emerged broadly from PhD work on the production of digital media. From there some work was found on sustainability and art. It then developed into the political economy of production in culture.
Supplementary Information
The work on this project is ongoing, with some articles either in press or for submission to journals. The dissemination will also be ongoing and strongly welcomes ongoing collaboration with collegues in the EPA. Special thanks go to Professor Mark Boyle (MU), Professor Paschal Preston (DCU), Dr Dónal Mulligan (DCU), Professor Pat Brereton (DCU), Professor James Anderson (QUB) and Dr Dorothy Stewart (EPA) for their support, mentorship, advice and consultations on this project.
Links To Other Related Resources
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