strategy

Enlisting media cooperation on the environment

Synonyms:
Increasing cooperation with media and advertising industries towards sustainable development
Cooperating with theatre groups and entertainment in support of sustainable development
Description:
There is a need for independent and objective media at all levels in enhancing awareness and developing shared environmental values in global society. The media can serve the cause of sustainable development by identifying emerging issues, awareness-raising and promoting appropriate action.
Context:
The media have an especially important role to play in the communication of environmental information. Free, independent and critical media are a key aspect of a healthy democracy. Therefore public bodies which want to get their message across need to work with the media in a pro-active way, avoiding secrecy and encouraging openness. Both sides should be aware of their responsibilities and of the need to communicate openly and professionally with each other.
Implementation:
This strategy features in the framework of Agenda 21 as formulated at UNCED (Rio de Janeiro, 1992), now coordinated by the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development and implemented through national and local authorities.

Agenda 21 recommends that countries and the UN system should promote a cooperative relationship with the media, popular theatre groups, and entertainment and advertising industries by initiating discussions to mobilize their experience in shaping public behaviour and consumption patterns and making wide use of their methods. Such cooperation would also increase the active public participation in the debate on the environment. UNICEF should make child-oriented material available to media as an educational tool, ensuring close cooperation between the out-of-school public information sector and the school curriculum, for the primary level. UNESCO, UNEP and universities should enrich pre-service curricula for journalists on environment and development topics.

Agenda 21 also recommends that, while respecting the independence of the media, governments should use their influence to encourage use of the media to promote environmental objectives through measures such as televised public service announcements, licence conditions requiring a proportion of socially purposive programming, and restrictions on the advertising of products which are damaging to health or the environment.

Counter Claim:
1. The mass media have played an important role in raising public awareness on the environment, especially in relation to disasters, but environmental coverage is still superficial and scattered.
Subjects:
Advertising
Media
Industry
Recreation
Theatre
Environment
Sustainable development
Type Classification:
G: Very Specific strategies