Environmental  topics  seem  to  be  out  of  fashion  in  Germany.  The  economic  recession  gave  other subjects  more  importance,  not  only  in  public  and  political  discussion  but  also  in  media  coverage. Additionally  the  new  quality  of  environmental  problems  contributes  to  this  decline.  Aspects  of sustainability are  less personally perceptible and  consist rather of  slow processes than of  explosive single events. So it becomes more difficult to convey these problems to a less interested audience.

This  study  examined  the  extent  and  quality  of  environmental  reporting  in  German  television  and searched  for  possible  differences  between  pure  environmental  television  magazines  and  environmental coverage  in  political  television  magazines.  Above  all  it  reviewed  frequently  criticized  aspects  of environmental journalism, for example its inclination to negative reporting and its strong simplification of complex problems.

Using  an  extensive  content  analysis,  the  study  examined  156  environmental  reports  between  March and July 1996, 67 taken from environmental magazines, and 89 from political magazines.

One of the essential results is  that political magazines more  often  reported in  a  negative way  than  the environmental  magazines.  This  could  be  seen  in  the  basic  tendency,  based  on  the  use  of  negatively connoted   emotional   elements,   and   the   concentration   on   reports   of   damages   and   environmental catastrophes.  Reports  in  environmental  magazines  more  often  showed  a  positive  tendency,  tried  to stimulate positive emotions or offered possible solutions.

Another difference showed the importance of current events being the reason for coverage: Reports in environmental  magazines  covered  subjects  less  current  and  referred  to  incidents  less  often  than  political magazines.

The  complexity  of  reporting,  indicated  by  the  number  of  protagonists,  the  variety  of  subjects  dealt with, and the space of time covered, reached an equivalent low level in both types of magazines.

According to  these results, the  environmental magazines in general seem to  be  better prepared  for  the crisis of ecological journalism.
 

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Environmental reporting in television
A content analysis

Christine Persitzky  

Environmental  topics  seem  to  be  out  of  fashion  in  Germany.  The  economic  recession  gave  other subjects  more  importance,  not  only  in  public  and  political  discussion  but  also  in  media  coverage. Additionally  the  new  quality  of  environmental  problems  contributes  to  this  decline.  Aspects  of sustainability are  less personally perceptible and  consist rather of  slow processes than of  explosive single events. So it becomes more difficult to convey these problems to a less interested audience.

This  study  examined  the  extent  and  quality  of  environmental  reporting  in  German  television  and searched  for  possible  differences  between  pure  environmental  television  magazines  and  environmental coverage  in  political  television  magazines.  Above  all  it  reviewed  frequently  criticized  aspects  of environmental journalism, for example its inclination to negative reporting and its strong simplification of complex problems.

Using  an  extensive  content  analysis,  the  study  examined  156  environmental  reports  between  March and July 1996, 67 taken from environmental magazines, and 89 from political magazines.

One of the essential results is  that political magazines more  often  reported in  a  negative way  than  the environmental  magazines.  This  could  be  seen  in  the  basic  tendency,  based  on  the  use  of  negatively connoted   emotional   elements,   and   the   concentration   on   reports   of   damages   and   environmental catastrophes.  Reports  in  environmental  magazines  more  often  showed  a  positive  tendency,  tried  to stimulate positive emotions or offered possible solutions.

Another difference showed the importance of current events being the reason for coverage: Reports in environmental  magazines  covered  subjects  less  current  and  referred  to  incidents  less  often  than  political magazines.

The  complexity  of  reporting,  indicated  by  the  number  of  protagonists,  the  variety  of  subjects  dealt with, and the space of time covered, reached an equivalent low level in both types of magazines.

According to  these results, the  environmental magazines in general seem to  be  better prepared  for  the crisis of ecological journalism.
 

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