How to Use the Media to do Good


Panel event with BBC Springwatch team and Bristol Media, June 2014


I was at Goldbrick House in Bristol on Tuesday 24 June 2014, in my capacity as co-founder of The Planet Mark presenting alongside producers of the BBC's 'Springwatch' to members of Bristol Media about sustainable practice in the media industry. I discussed the importance of the role the media industry must now play in slowing down the rate of climate change, saying:


A lack of effective leadership from international governments, combined with centuries of institutionalisation has resulted in large scale public inertia on the subject of climate change. The environmental issues we face today are rooted in complex historical systems of human interactivity with nature, bound by money, power and tradition, which make us feel powerless. The media industry is perfectly placed to change that widespread sense of inertia in to action. 


We urgently need new communications strategies to reframe dominant public values and attitudes and to inspire practical action – what society needs to do to combat climate change now is to shift our perceptions; rebuild values around nature and how we treat our environment; we need to help create the right attitudes - and take action ourselves. 


As Marshall McLuhan said in the 60's, 'None of us are passengers on spaceship earth, we are all crew'. Thought leadership must start with media platforms and creative agencies – don't wait for your clients to call the shots on sustainability communications any more, you must take the lead. You and your organisation are what you put in to the world."


I ended my talk by asking people, "What will be your unique contribution to a sustainable future?"


Further discussion centred on The Planet Mark programme for business which I founded in partnership with Eden Project, and the 'Albert' carbon measurement process for TV and film used by BBC and hosted by BAFTA, which Springwatch have been putting in to practice in their fieldwork. 





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© Katharine Cockshaw