Environmental Risks and the Media by Ulrich Beck, Stuart Allan, Cynthia Carter, Barbara Adam

By Ulrich Beck, Stuart Allan, Cynthia Carter, Barbara Adam

Environmental hazards and the Media explores the ways that environmental hazards, threats and dangers are represented, reworked and contested by means of the media. At a time while well known conceptions of our environment as a reliable, flora and fauna with which humanity interferes are being more and more contested, the medias tools of encouraging audiences to consider environmental dangers - from the BSE or 'mad cow' challenge to international weather switch - have gotten increasingly more controversial.
Examining large-scale mess ups, in addition to 'everyday' dangers, the individuals reflect on the tensions among leisure and knowledge in media insurance of our environment. How do the media body 'expert', 'counter-expert' and 'lay public' definitions of environmental probability? What function do environmental strain teams like Greenpeace or 'eco-warriors' and 'green guerrillas' play in shaping what will get lined and the way? Does the media emphasis on superb occasions on the rate of issue-sensitive reporting exacerbate the general public tendency to overestimate surprising and violent dangers and underestimate continual long term ones?

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Overview of the book’s sections In the spirit of a collective intervention, Environmental Risks and the Media is organised to extend and elaborate upon these lines of debate in new and, it is hoped, strategically important ways. It brings together the work of researchers actively exploring the dynamics by which environmental risks, threats and hazards are represented, transformed and contested across the discursive field of the mass media. Such an agenda necessarily entails the adoption of an Introduction 17 extended definition of what constitutes ‘the environment’ in order to embrace the lived, embodied experience of risk perception as it is inflected in and through the media discourses circulating in societies like those in Europe and North America.

But to what extent and in what sense, exactly, have lay voices in television news been able to do likewise? Do the news media help to sustain forms of emergent ‘social rationality’ through the accessing of lay voices in the field of environmental risks? This chapter sets out to explore such questions. With the help of findings from a systematic examination of news access, we can first chart the extent and nature of lay or ordinary involvement within and across TV news about the environment and environmental risks.

Mr Dorrell I want you to watch the pictures of my son growing up, do they look much different to the pictures you have of your children? Does Peter show any signs of the tragically short span that he would have? I hold the 29 30 Simon Cottle government responsible for his death and their total incompetence and mismanagement of a manmade disease…. Will the government now accept that the scientific advice it chose to follow, namely, that there was no conceivable risk from eating British beef, was wrong?

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