Communicating Green Messages To a Wide Audience
John Parham is a Professor of Environment Humanities in the School of Humanities here at the University of Worcester. His research is focused on eco-media and how we can communicate green messages to a wide audience.
We live in a world constantly connected. Our lives tend to consist of a lot of time focused on a screen in one capacity or another – whether it is work or pleasure, we are watching or playing something.
We get most of our information from:
- Video games
- Social media
…The list goes on. As such, these should be a primary medium by which to communicate green and eco-friendly messages.
It is important to consider where we are; in the UK, to the untrained eye, there is little evidence of, say, climate change or global warming. However, across the world, hundreds of thousands of individuals are suffering from the effects of pollution and global warming on a daily basis. As such “eco-media” is essential as it informs a wide audience of events and effects they may otherwise not be aware of.
Making a Difference With Media
Green messages through popular culture are a huge part of encouraging a sustainable lifestyle. Whilst some of the finer points of sustainability and ecology don’t always survive the transition from academia to the small (or big) screen, it is nonetheless essential to communicate these messages to as wide an audience as possible in order to get as many people as possible at least considering green ideas in their day to day life.
Reaching the Audience
A key method of both reaching a wide audience and an audience which will ultimately hold the future in their hands, is video games. Video games, unlike films or television, provide a multi-layered experience which is invaluable as an educational asset.
This is not to say that other forms of media are sub-standard; we can’t always invest hours of our day into consuming media and so shorter types of media, such as news reports or even music, can still be a valuable method of communicating eco issues. However, eco-issues in general suffer from chronic under-representation in mainstream media.
Eco-media alone won’t save the world….
…But it can be a powerful tool for opening up a narrative and getting people to consider and better still, discuss, how they can live more sustainably. To this end, the more media which discusses eco issues is produced for a wider audience, the greater the effect shall be.