Environmental Discourses and Discourse Coalitions in the Reconfiguration of Peru’s Environmental Governance

Ministry of Environment of PeruBruno Takahashi & Mark Meisner “Environmental Discourses and Discourse Coalitions in the Reconfiguration of Peru’s Environmental Governance,” Environmental Communication: A Journal of Nature and Culture, Vol.6, No.3, 346-364, 2012.

Abstract

Environmental discourses are considered precursors to policy decisions as they delimit the range of policy options. The mass media are an important arena for those discourses and the discourse coalitions engaged in struggles to define policy and political issues. The study of such discourses requires an expansion to contexts outside developed countries, but within the influence of global forces, especially in how dominant global discourses influence national policy making. This article focuses on the competing discourses in the debate about the creation of the Peruvian Ministry of the Environment as portrayed by the media and the actors involved in the process. The results show a debate dominated by neoliberal discourses of administrative rationalism and economic rationalism, intertwined with the environmental requirements of a free trade agreement between Peru and the USA. In this case, democratic and environmental justice concerns—from both indigenous rights and anti-hegemonic perspectives—were marginalized. The study presents the operationalization of theoretical categorizations of environmental discourses within the concepts of storylines and discourse coalitions.

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Environmental Communication and Media: Centers, Programs and Resources

Communication@theCenterRonald E. Rice, Mark Meisner, Steve Depoe, Andy Opel, Connie Roser-Renouf, & Debika Shome “Environmental Communication and Media: Centers, Programs and Resources,” Chapter 11 in Communication @ the Center, ed. Steve Jones, pp.137-155. New York: Hampton Press, 2012.

Environmental issues are some of the most global, complex, and significant problems today. They threaten our quality of life, but they are politically polarized and characterized by hyperbole, disinformation, and public skepticism. The media can affect people’s perceptions of the environment (Ader, 1995; Besley & Shanahan, 2004; Corbett & Durfee, 2004; O’Donnell & Rice, 2008) given that many Americans live in urban settings with little direct experience of the outdoors. Media in the broadest sense of the term-including books, magazines, films, television, news, Internet websites, videogames, and podcasts-are for many people a major source of environmental information. Moreover, media appear to play an important role in winning public support for environmental movements (Brulle & Jenkins, 2008). The media’s role as attitude changer is particularly important within the context of contemporary environmental problems, which are perceived to be both abstract and distant (whether in place or time) by many Americans. Public reaction to environmental news also has the indirect effect of generating additional news, hus raising the agenda even more and therefore influencing politicians and policy makers (Dasgupta, Laplante, & Meisner, 2000)….

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Mass-Media Coverage of Climate Change in Peru: Framing and the Role of Foreign Voices

AcrossBordersBruno Takahashi & Mark Meisner “Mass-Media Coverage of Climate Change in Peru: Framing and the Role of Foreign Voices” in Across Borders and Environments: Communication and Environmental Justice in International Contexts, ed. Stacey Sowards, Cincinnati: International Environmental Communication Association, 2012.

Abstract

Media coverage of climate change has been an area of continued research during the last few years, mostly with a focus on developed countries. This study attempts to contribute to this body of work by analyzing the coverage in a developing country. The study presents a content analysis of newspaper coverage of climate change in Peru through the study of frames, geographical focus, and climate change strategies (mitigation/adaptation). Additionally, the role of foreign voices is assessed by comparing news coverage by Peruvian reporters with the news coverage by wire services and by determining the types of sources present in the articles. Results show a prevalence of an effects frame, followed by a politics frame. Also, the study found a significant number of stories originating from wire services. In general, coverage prioritizes mitigation strategies and policies while providing limited attention to adaptation, which can be inadequate for a highly vulnerable country.

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Climate Change in Peruvian Newspapers: The Role of Foreign Voices in a Context of Vulnerability

El-ComercioBruno Takahashi & Mark Meisner “Climate Change in Peruvian Newspapers: The Role of Foreign Voices in a Context of Vulnerability,” Public Understanding of Science, Vol.22 No.4, 427-442, 2013 (first published online February 20, 2012).

Abstract

Media coverage of climate change has been an area of continued research during the last years, mostly with a focus on developed countries. This study attempts to contribute to this body of work by analyzing the coverage in a developing country. The study presents a content analysis of newspaper coverage of climate change in Peru through the study of frames, geographical focus, and climate change strategies (mitigation/adaptation). Additionally, the role of foreign voices is assessed by comparing the coverage by Peruvian reporters with the coverage by wire services, and by determining the types of sources present in the articles. Results show a prevalence of an effects frame, followed by a politics frame. Also, the study found a significant amount of stories originating from wire services. In general, coverage prioritizes mitigation strategies and policies while providing limited attention to adaptation, which can be insufficient for a highly vulnerable country.

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And Now For Something Completely Different

BlackKnightLike the Black Knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, we act as if nothing needs to change as we lose limb after limb.

Kulturträger column originally published in Alternatives Journal Vol.37, No.6, 2011.

IT SEEMS CRAZY to me how often environmentalists try to dissuade people from ravaging the planet by appealing to their self-interest. Do you know what I mean? Don’t pollute because you’ll be poisoned; think of the money you’ll save by not driving your car; protect the rainforest for it might contain a cure for cancer. Environmental discourse is rife with arguments based strictly on narrow individual and collective human welfare.

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Comparing Influences on Peruvian Climate Change Policy: Information, Knowledge, and Concern Among Political Elites

interculturalcommunicationBruno Takahashi & Mark Meisner “Comparing Influences on Peruvian Climate Change Policy: Information, Knowledge, and Concern Among Political Elites,” Journal of Intercultural Communication Research, Vol.40, No.3, 181-202, 2011.

Abstract

Climate change is considered as the most important contemporary global environmental problem. Despite research efforts from the social sciences to understand how individuals perceive the problem, few studies have focused on policy makers, specially in developing countries. This study seeks to determine the similarities and differences between elite government groups in Peru. It focuses on the knowledge about climate change, environmental concern, and sources of policy information, and how these factors affect policy preferences. Studies in other countries reveal that these factors can influence both the prioritization of environmental policy issues and the content of policy proposals.

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Ready-to-Care

Green fashionistas Emma Watson and Summer Rayne Oakes are helping the culture of couture find its conscience, without sacrificing style. Continue reading

Miami’s Vice

Florida may be leading America’s slide into ignorance, weirdness and triviality, but it’s a fine comic target for Carl Hiaasen. Continue reading

The Doctor Knows Best

The BBC’s much-loved sci-fi series, Doctor Who, offers lessons in celebrating and defending all life. Continue reading

Beware False Idles

Ads for cars now show them in tune with nature instead of conquering it, but either way, the car is a dubious environmental hero. Continue reading