Environmental Communication in the Intertwining of the Local and the Digital

Joana Díaz-Pont, Annika Egan Sjölander, Kerrie Foxwell-Norton, Maitreyee Mishra, Pieter Maeseele

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)


In this chapter, we focus on the intertwining of the local and the digital in environmental communication. We interrogate the local in terms of place, and take a retrospective look at our discipline to review if, and how, the geographical scale and social interactivity enhanced by digital media have transformed how we, as researchers and practitioners, communicate the environment. This exercise begins with the birth of modern environmental consciousness during the 1960s and concludes at the current juncture. We adopt a wave metaphor to tease out major shifts over this period, exploring the dialectics between geographical scale and social interconnectivity. To understand these changes, we begin to unpack key concepts of ‘the local’ and ‘the digital’ in conjunction with ‘the global’ and ‘place’. Our observations, while not exhaustive, acknowledge the growth of digital media use and its impacts on environmental communication practice and scholarship. Here, we identify both stability and change, tempering our enthusiasm for the digital with the caveat that inequalities in power, wealth and position persist. We are thus reluctant to announce a ‘digital turn’ in the field, identifying instead the need for more critical approaches capable of engaging with the wider consequences of this changing media landscape. In this volume, during a third wave of environmental communication, where local places meet digital networks, we present 11 investigations conducted around the globe that explore these intersections.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGlobal Transformations in Media and Communication Research
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan Ltd.
Number of pages29
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameGlobal Transformations in Media and Communication Research
ISSN (Print)2634-5978
ISSN (Electronic)2634-5986

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Linguistics and Language


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