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Visualizing climate change: Television news and ecological citizenship

Lester, Libby and Cottle, Simon ORCID: 2009. Visualizing climate change: Television news and ecological citizenship. International Journal of Communication 3 , pp. 920-936.

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Television images can provide powerful symbols of ecological disaster. As Ulrich Beck notes (2009: 86) the catastrophic consequences of climate change must be made visible not only to enhance understanding but also to generate pressure for action. Taking its cue from current social theoretical ideas about media and ecological citizenship and Beck’s writings on the ‘symbolic politics of the media’, we set out to empirically examine the nature of climate change visualization within television news. We explore two analytically distinct dimensions of news visualisation: images, scenes and spectacular images of nature(s), places and people as under threat; and how accessed strategic relations of contention are visually infused with signs of trust and credibility. To better understand the contribution of the news media to ecological citizenship, we argue, we must attend to both these visual rhetorics and examine how each enters into the public representation, elaboration and now deepening contentions of climate change.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Journalism, Media and Culture
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1990 Broadcasting
Publisher: USC Annenberg Center
ISSN: 1932-8036
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Last Modified: 18 Oct 2022 14:30

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