The Environment in the Media

UnknownWhen it comes to commercials and advertisements today, they usually mention products such as cars, toys, or movies. Sometimes they mention politics when it pertains to current pending issues such as global politics, natural disasters, and what the newest policies are. But what about issues that are associated with the environment and associated with policies that could affect where you live? What about those eco-friendly commercials that use the environment as a tool to persuade buyers to purchase their products? Exactly, in recent news and political issues, there has been barely any discussions regarding these issues. This could be because no one cares about the place that they live in or because they are just too busy with other issues to appreciate what they have.

Being a double major in Communication (with a concentration in Public Relations) and Environmental and Sustainability Studies (with a concentration in Politics) and a minor in Conflict Analysis and Resolutions, I have grown to recognize and understand how companies are putting their messages out to the public. They utilize the surrounding areas to appeal to their viewers and consumers that see the environment and associate it with the product and automatically see that it helps the environment or does not effect the environment in any way shape or form. For example, automobile companies that as associated with being fuel efficient and helps the environment. They place this fancy, brand new car in a beautiful, empty, environmentally friendly area to enhance the “idea” of the eco-friendly product. However, in reality the car uses a lot of gas and uses gas that is Diesel or any other gas type.

Now for everyone’s favorite topic…. politics. Many people do not associate the outside and trees with politicians and the United Nations. When it comes to understanding what exactly needs to be regulated it can be complicated and simple at the same time. There are rules and regulations for about every environmental issue that has come up over the years. With the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency they are designed to create and enforce the laws and regulations that are set. But within the last few years, they have not been as present in the media explaining current issues that have been present. Plus with recent Presidential debates, I have not heard of them talk about what their views are on the current issues and what can be done to improve the current state of the environment.

All in all, the environment and the media is a tricky subject. Whether it is dealing with advertisements and commercials or politicians in the news it is hard to decide whether or not what is being said is helping or hurting the current state of the environment.



  1. rogerwleblanc · September 30, 2015

    Josh, you bring up great points about how media coverage could be focusing on environmental issues and policies more – and that many times greenwashing can be used by companies to sell a product rather than just to inform. I know that with your combined skills you will bring some good change to this in the future. Have you considered looking into 4C (George Mason’s Climate Change Communication Center)? They do a lot of great research on how climate messaging is used, and how is impacts public opinion. They offer internships in the spring as well, may be a good opportunity? Emily has worked with them and would be able to tell you more.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. aimeecastil7 · October 5, 2015

    I agree with Roger here. Greenwashing is just merely a tool for companies to use so that people will buy their products. While there are those companies that are dedicated to helping the environment, the rest are just companies who want to make money who are capitalizing on the “green” initiative.


  3. jwatkin7 · October 6, 2015

    I remember you doing a peer teaching group project on this last year, and I think that one of the things that was in your project was a game where we were challenged to differentiate between the greenwashed products and the genuinely-environmentally-friendly products. We all had a genuinely hard time differentiating between the two, even with the advertising techniques given in your powerpoint. The question, then, is this: will we be able to accurately determine what is or isn’t greenwashed, or will these companies take more involved measures to disguise their capitalization on the need for greener products?


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