Knight Center doctoral student Anthony Van Witsen presented the study “Revisiting environmental citizenship: The role of information capital and media use” recently at the 2015 Association for Education in Journalsim and Mass Communication conference in San Francisco.
The study was co-authored with research director Bruno Takahashi, Knight Center doctora student
Ran Duan, and Edson Tandoc, a faculty member at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.
The study proposes from a cross-national perspective, a model of environmental citizenship that includes predictors at the individual and contextual levels. The model is based on multiple theoretical considerations from environmental sociology, media studies and economics. The study examines media use mainly at the individual level, and media system development at the country level, as factors affecting people’s environmental citizenship.
It unexpectedly found a stronger media effect in countries with less developed media systems. The researchers surmise that this could be because less developed media systems are more centralized. That could lead to more powerful agenda setting, including environmental agendas.
This study is part of a research agenda of the Knight Center research team focusing on cultural differences among and within nations that can help explain differences in environmentalism. This research agenda also focuses on media use, and the content of news media covering environmental affairs.