New Topics in Media Studies: Environmental Communications

Discipline: Media Studies
Instructor: Gaither
Credits: 3
Day: null
Start: 15:20
End: 16:35
Field Work: Day 1 | Greece Download Syllabus

This course will examine the role of communication in influencing the ways in which we understand the environment. Much of the debate over the environment occurs in the “public sphere” including mass media, advocacy campaigns, public hearings, etc. This class will look at the symbolic and ideological resources – language, images and ideas – that frame the environmental debate. Through cases, exercises, readings and class discussions, students will develop an understanding of environmental issues facing Europe and North Africa (including but not limited to marine pollution, overfishing, endangered species, and land conservation) and communication practices to promote public awareness, change behavior and influence public policy. The class will analyze media coverage of sustainability topics and critically evaluate strategies and arguments used by different speakers to frame these environmental concerns, including corporations, environmental groups, and politicians.

Field Work

Country: Greece
Day: 1

The Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece, known as ARCHELON, works to protect the sea turtles and their habitats in Greece though monitoring and research, management plans, and raising public awareness of issues facing sea turtles. The field lab will visit the Sea Turtle Rescue Center located in Athens. The STRC was created to rehabilitate sick sea turtles while raising public awareness. In addition to medical treatment for the sea turtles, the STRC also functions as an educational center in collaboration with the Department of Environmental Education and features a photographic exhibition and environmental educational presentations. Approximately 20,000 people visit the Rescue Centre each year. The purpose of the field lab will be to learn about the goals and operations of the Sea Turtle Protection Society as well as how the Society uses communication, public relations and educational outreach to achieve those goals. Ideally this field lab will include a tour of the facility, educational presentation(s), and a round-table discussion/question-and-answer with key communication and/or educational officers about the communication strategies of the Society. The visit will conclude with a reflection session and lunch.