THE INFORMATIVE MANAGEMENT OF TENSIONS AND ENVIRONMENTAL RISKS. AN APPROACH TO CURRENT AFFAIRS FROM THE CRITIC EDUCATION PERSPECTIVE
University of the Basque Country (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN10 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Conference name: 2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-7 July, 2010
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:This paper tackles the analysis of the discourse strategies implied in the main trend of communication media treatment of environment information. It makes especial attention to the sense directing processes and to the construction of social representations that the strategies of most of the daily press information provoke when tackling the complexity of the environment’s tensions and disorders.
The methodology employed is based in a semio-pragmatic approach that deals with the meaning construction of the information and current affairs discourses and in the framing and priming procedures employed in the agendas’ set up to influence in limiting the interpretation framework of the environment conflicts. This research points out how the environment tensions are projected on a discursive scenario of imminent risk and global menace that delimits a normalized and institutionalized frame of understanding the ecological. On the other hand, there might be other discourses and interpretations that would put under suspicion the pertinence of the meaning currently privileged by the main media.
The textual analysis of the news related to the environment topic reveals that the discourse strategies used in the construction of these information objects do not necessarily aim to increase the knowledge of the complexity of variables that take part in the conformation of the individual and social relationships with the environment. On the contrary, they privilege the immersion of the reader in a universe of polemics and confrontation, dominated by the dramatic and spectacular logic of peril and urged by the menace of an imminent crisis. While at the same time, they undermine other voices and arguments that may question the definition of the intelligibility framework of the environmental problems. These are dystopias staged as the menace of environmental catastrophes that function as a coercive mechanism that hides, under the discourse of peril, subjacent profound social and regional inequalities that determine the setting of the politic, social and economic decision making agendas.
The education of readers competent in understanding, analyzing and critic assessment of the discourse strategies that animate the information media about the environment, requires the appropriate conceptual instruments to enquire the way in which the media actively participate in the social construction of reality and in the management of the tensions related to the environment.
Keywords: information, risk, semiotics, environment.