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New Models for Environmental Communication

New Models for Environmental Communication


Even as the old “ that’s the way it is” model of mass media is increasingly tested by the Web, there are interesting experiments under way that show how far-flung, yet important, issues like marine pollution can still be effectively covered. One surfaced today in a Science Times article by Lindsey Hoshaw, known on Twitter as @thegarbagegirl. The feature is an up-close examination of the Pacific Ocean’s vast patch of plastic flotsam, reported with travel money provided by readers of

This young online enterprise essentially aggregates “pitches” by journalists for money to help pay the costs of reporting on issues that might not otherwise get coverage. There have been discussions about a trend toward “cloud journalism,” in which a community rich in mobile phones and Twitter accounts gives an overview of big events. But this is “cloud financing” of journalism.

Some journalism students at Ohio University weighed in on Dot Earth this year on how people might keep up with environmental issues in 2015. In a talk at the National Academy of Sciences a while ago, I mentioned the importance of scientists and academic institutions’ becoming more directly responsible for communicating about their work. Here’s the video. Go to 1 hour 33 minutes for the relevant section (although the entire session is worth reviewing).

What promising new communication experiments have you seen?


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