Academic journal article Electronic Green Journal

Review: The Daily Globe; Environmental Change, the Public and the Media

Academic journal article Electronic Green Journal

Review: The Daily Globe; Environmental Change, the Public and the Media

Article excerpt

Review: The Daily Globe; Environmental Change, the Public and the Media Joe Smith (Ed.) Reviewed by Ryder Miller San Francisco, California, USA Joe Smith (Ed.). The Daily Globe: Environmental Change, the Public and the Media. London: Earthscan Publications, 2000. ISBN 1-85383-664-8 (paper); ISBN: 85383-669-9 (cloth). US$25.00 paper; US$69.95 cloth. Elemental chlorine-free paper

Confronted with a lack of trust from the public, sometimes questionable corporate news sources, complex scientific environmental issues, and the dynamics of the news industry; environmental journalists struggle to maintain credibility and direction while they remind the public that adjustments need to be made to sidestep potential world disasters.

In The Daily Globe, editor Joe Smith, a lecturer in geography in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the Open University and co-director at the Cambridge Media and Environmental Programme, has collected more than 15 papers which examine the difficulties United Kingdom environmental journalists face while covering the environmental beat on their mission of keeping the public informed.

The chapters fall under four sections: I. Global Environmental Change, the Public and the Media; II. Reporting Global Environmental Change; III. Understanding Environment, the Public and the Media; and IV. Making the Environment News. Memorable chapters include: "'Other' Cultures, 'Other' Environments and the Mass Media" by Graham P. Chapman; "Communicating Complexity and Uncertainty: a Challenge for the Media" by David Gee; and "Politics, the Public and the Environment" by The Rt. Hon John Gummer MP (former UK Secretary of State for the Environment). There is also a two-page list of acronyms used. Some of the issues examined are those relating to the Brent Spar oil spill, the workings of individual media sources and particular environmental issues like global warming, sustainable development, and Frankenstein foods.

Understanding and working with the many concerned parties is a challenge for the environmental journalist. The degree to which journalists are distrusted in the UK is a huge hurdle. Robert M. Worcester in his chapter "Public and 'Expert' Opinion on Environmental Issues," (chapter 4) points out, "journalists have the trust of fewer than one person in five, and rank even below politicians. …

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