Research Round Up

Climate action and media

The effects of climate change are becoming more obvious and worrisome. Social movements are calling for immediate climate action worldwide and political institutions are implementing green policies aimed at reducing the environmental impact of economic development. In this context, this issue’s research round-up delves into the intersection between climate action and the media. How can media outlets implement green policies? How can they contribute to raising awareness of climate change?

Inge Ejbye Sørensen and Caitriona Noonan | Media, Culture & Society, 2022

Production, policy and power: the screen industry’s response to the environmental crisis

In recent years, as the effects of the climate crisis intensified, the creative industries have been also followed other economic sectors in their aim to implement green strategies and reduce their ecological impact. Sørensen and Noonan explore the most recent actions taken in this regard and point to how obstacles intrinsic to the audiovisual industry (such as its depencency on other highly polluting sectors, like fashion, transport or technology) handicap their outcomes. Moreover, the lack of clear, analogous, consensual, and measurable sustainability policies in the cultural field contributes to the problem. The authors call on the research community to engage with the industry in the promotion of new strategies and policy actions.

Read the full paper here.

Denise Voci | Sustainability, 2022

Logos, Ethos, Pathos, Sustainabilitos? About the Role of Media Companies in Reaching Sustainable Development

The role of the media in raising awareness on the importance of sustainability (including, but not limited to environmental sustainability) has been the object of intensive research. In this paper, Voci presents a recent analysis on the way two media companies (the biggest German commercial media outlets, RTL Group and ProSiebenSat1) communicate sustainability. The results show that these media groups understand their role in explaining and moving towards sustainable development, but at the same time they should reinforce the appeal on emotions to better exploit their goal to influence the public opinion and trigger behavioral changes.

Read the full paper here.

Antonio López | Media Literacy, Equity and Justice (Routledge), 2022

Ecomedia Literacy. Decolonizing Media and the Climate Emergency

Another angle where sustainability and the media intersect can be found in media literacy. In this chapter, part of the book Media Literacy, Equity and Justice, edited by Belinha S. De Abreu, Antonio López approaches how ecomedia literacy can contribute to addressing the climate emergency while promoting the decolonization of media and knowledge systems. Through the understanding of how the media is connected to an important ecological damage and to the global economy and colonialist development models, ecomedia literacy can contribute to the promotion of ecojustice among learners.

Read the full chapter here


During the past 3 years, the European Broadcasting Union has organized workshops and published reports that can guide its members in their mission to reduce their environmental impact. The work of the “Sustainability for Public Service Media” group is available here, and includes information on issues such as how pension schemes can contribute to sustainability or recommendations for greener cloud services.