Television, Community and Climate Change: A Call for Structural Reform

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As we approach the likely end of an era of Conservative-led governments, there is an opportunity to consider alternatives to the neoliberal mantras of markets, enterprise and individualism and consider the role of television within a place-sensitive and community-focused public policy approach. The focus will be on the engagement with climate change, a topic that has troubled researchers (Doyle, 2011; Maxwell and Miller, 2012) and producers (Smith, 2022) alike: what should television do in order to affect the required changes in behaviour that are needed for us to avoid a climate breakdown? As media researchers know, television itself cannot affect anything (Gauntlett, 2004), but it operates within a larger infrastructure of social and cultural meaning where it remains an influential medium (e.g. Ligocki, 2018).

In this paper, I will discuss that television can play in amplifying existing community work to address climate change and its ability to inspire change. The paper is based on research conducted with the University of Liverpool and Love Wavertree CIC, a local community organisation who have put a significant emphasis on climate change as a driving force for change in the local community. The outcomes of the research suggest the need for significant reform in how public policy could become more effective in tackling climate change, but also what role television in particular (as well as other media) may play in it. This points to the need of reform which is holistic and includes changes in public administration as much as in media regulation.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 11 May 2023
EventNorthumbria University Film and Media Webinar Series - Online, Newcastle
Duration: 11 May 202311 May 2023


SeminarNorthumbria University Film and Media Webinar Series

Research Groups

  • Television Studies Research Group


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