Participatory politics, environmental journalism and newspaper campaigns

Howarth, Anita (2013) Participatory politics, environmental journalism and newspaper campaigns. In: Bodker, Henrik and Nervala, Irene, (eds.) Environmental journalism. London, U.K. : Routledge. (Journalism Studies, (160)) ISBN 9780415827492


This article explores the extent to which approaches to participatory politics might offer a more useful alternative to understanding the role of environmental journalism in a society where the old certainties have collapsed, only to be replaced by acute uncertainty. This uncertainty not only generates acute public anxiety about risks, it has also undermined confidence in the validity of long-standing premises about the ideal role of the media in society and journalistic professionalism. The consequence, this article argues, is that aspirations of objective reportage are outdated and ill-equipped to deal with many of the new risk stories environmental journalism covers. It is not a redrawing of boundaries that is needed but a wholesale relocation of our frameworks into approaches better suited to the socio-political conditions and uncertainties of late modernity. The exploration of participatory approaches is an attempt to suggest one way this might be done.

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