Hey and welcome back to this biweekly blog! Today I will be talking about to things that I have recently seen on the media relate to climate change. First we will talk about Earth Day and then about an Infographic.
A lot of people might not know what is celebrated on April 22. On that day 47 years ago the first Earth Day was celebrated. According to the Earth Day Network over 20 million Americans participated in the first celebration of this holiday by taking to the streets, auditoriums, or parks. This first celebration marked a revolutionary moment for the US, people from both parties and from all levels of social economic backgrounds rallied behind a common cause across the nation. By the end of this year the Environmental Protection Agency had been created and the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts were passed. Since then Earth Day has been celebrated every year. AJ+ twitted a video about this year’s celebration, in it they stated that tens of thousands of scientists and supporters took to the streets in celebration of this event. The video included a video of Bill Nye “The science guy” addressing a huge crowd and rallying for a common cause. This video was not only shared by AJ+ but was also mentioned or shown on other platforms by other media sources such as Entertainment Weekly, Vox, and Today. Although this video cannot be described as something that went viral it is definitely one that circled the web. Something that might add to the popularity of this video is it’s authenticity. Unlike many clips we can find online this one was recorded live. We have Bill Nye talking about climate change and the answering questions live in front of a crowd. As mentioned in a selection of “Out on the Wire”, a comic book intended to teach the audience how to make a good podcast, things performed and recorded live are usually better because they sound more authentic. In comparison, video or audio clips that have been recorded many times and are then edited can lose their authenticity and sound to forced. This is especially true on shows or podcasts where the host and the guest have not interacted to plan what’s going to happen. This selection claims that this type of recording is better because you get to know the true personality of the person in the spotlight, not their rehearsed fourth take self.
This twit with the video, along with many others about Earth Day, must make us wonder how much impact the media has on activism. Although Malcolm Gladwell and others might argue that altruistic activity on social media is usually ineffective because it is passive and unorganized events such as the marches for science that took place across the US, we must wonder if this is really the case. As a whole the environmental movement may not be very organized and lack a figure head, but when tens of thousands get together at several locations across the nation it is clear that social media has done its work. Another way to see how much impact the media might have is by taking a quick look at AJ+’s twitter feed. On twitter they describe themselves as a platform that provides news for the connected generation and focuses on sharing human struggles and challenging the status quo. Their newsfeed currently includes twits on other topics such as international issues, police brutality, news about altruistic feats, and protests against rape and other human rights violations. They also have over half a million followers. This is to say that over half a million people will get AJ+’s twits on their newsfeed. This does not include the audience of the people that can retwit what AJ+ posts, like my twitter followers. If at least some in this vast audience take action from what they see then altruism in the media has worked.
When talking about ways the media shares news or ideas with us we rarely think of all the different ways that the media can actually get information to us. Most people might at first think that the only media sources for news are Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, or their online newspaper. What is less obvious are the various different messaging applications through which friends and acquaintances can also share information with you. After having created my own infographic on climate change several weeks ago I was definitely surprised when someone shared a very effective infographic on the same topic through WhatsApp, a messaging application. The infographic is titled “20 datos para entender la drisis ecologica de la Tierra”. A small version of it can be found at the bottom of this post, a full view can be found on my twitter newsfeed @ivan96cornish. Although the infographic does not mention where it was published originally published its sources include; World Resources Institute, Ideam, Efe, Organizacion Meteorologica Mundial, and Programa de Naciones Unidas para el Medio Ambiente. What impacted me most about this infographic is that although the topic is Earth’s environmental crisis as a whole, the majority of the facts posted on the infographic can be linked to climate change. I also really appreciated the different aesthetic choices made by the author of this infographic compared to the ones I did. I personally really like this version and think that the balance of graphics and text is very effective. The largest image in the center does a great job at capturing the viewer’s attention and at making a point that we can really damage the Earth if we don’t act. Using only facts and statistics to drive home the message also proved to be a very effective.
Thanks for reading this biweekly blog. If you don’t follow me on twitter please make sure to do so @ivan96cornish for more information regarding climate change. Hope to see you in two weeks.