Treehugging 2.0

Treehugging 2.0

Powerful Niche Media in the Battle for A Better Future?

eBook - 2014
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The internet has become a powerful tool to mobilize audiences and spread information quickly. This book looks at environmental blogs in Germany and the UK, and compares their approaches to make their message heard. In particular, the study compares structural features of the blogs such as the length of entries or the number of comments that the blog posts earn but, it also looks at the bigger picture: how significant is the environmental blogosphere for the media landscape? Are these blogs able to motivate their readers to take action? This book attempts to explain the similarities and differences between UK and German green bloggers that are rooted in the particular development of the environmental movement, and formed by culture. Due to the fast pace that the internet develops at, this book must be regarded as a snapshot of the blogosphere in the year of 2011 which enables the reader to draw conclusions on the further development that the internet has taken up to the present moment.   Auszug aus dem Text Text sample: Chapter 2.3.4, Environmentalism in the UK: In the UK, the environmental movement has grown stronger only in recent years. While the environmental movement in Germany rose along with other movements in the late 1960's, some groups such as the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds had already existed for several decades then and unlike the German groups, those early UK environmentalist groups did not see themselves in opposition to the government, but were in fact collaborating, some of the groups even receiving royal patronage. Nevertheless, those groups hardly had any political influence and lobbying showed little effect (Dryzek et al., 2003). Only in the 1970's did the environment gain more importance in public, which can be traced, for example, through increased and regular coverage of environmental issues in The Times
(Clapp, 1994). Still, the government refused to make major concessions to environmental claims and leaked documents dated to 1979 from Thatcher's term reveal that there were plans to reduce sensitivity for environmental concerns among the population. In the 1980's budget cuts further reduced environmental agencies' (e.g. Clean Air Council) power (Dryzek et al., 2003). Environmental issues were thus being actively excluded from the political agenda in the UK. From the 1980's however, the European Community (EC) and later its successor, the European Union (EU), which the UK was (and continues to be) a member of, influenced environmental politics in the country. Environmental groups now had a new platform for lobbying in Brussels. During the 1990's UK politics opened up to moderate environmental groups, but continued to actively exclude groups they considered non-moderate. The Blair Government which was elected in 1997 seemingly engaged more in environmental issues and Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott was elected minister for the environment, which was to demonstrate the importance the government seemed to ascribe to the environment. However, despite some actions that the government took in environmental questions, the issue was still not on top of the political agenda (Dryzek et al., 2003). The electoral system also complicated business for the Green Party in the UK. Despite achieving reasonable shares of votes the party could not gain any seats in parliament in the past. Only in the 1990's The Greens were able to gain more power when two members were elected to the European Parliament and one to the Scottish Assembly (Dryzek et al., 2003). The party separated in the 1990's and now consists of the sister parties Green Party of England and Wales, Green Party in Northern Ireland and Scottish Green Party (Green Party of England and Wales, 2011). On
a national level the first green MP won a seat in parliament in the general elections of 2010 (BBC News, 2010). Nowadays in the UK, public concerns about the environment and related issues are growing. Survey results published by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) show that over the past years the knowledge about environmental issues has increased among the population and more people are willing to do things to help the environment, thus being potential movement supporters (Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs, 2009). 2.3.5, Differences in Environmentalism between Germany and the UK: In summary it can be said that even though there were environmental groups much earlier in the UK than in Germany, their political influence remained and still remains limited. While political exclusion triggered a strong oppositional culture in Germany and the electoral system lifted the German Greens into power, environmental groups in the UK struggled to exert much influence on politics. The UK electoral system also prevented the Green Party from winning any seats in the national parliament for a long time. In 2010 the Green Party of England and Wales succeeded to have the first green MP elected to the national parliament while in Germany the first green leader of a federal state has assumed office and election forecasts for the next general election look bright for The Greens in Germany. After the theory about blogs and environmentalism has been reviewed, the following section will introduce the approaches that previous studies have taken in order to conduct blog research.   Biographische Informationen Karin Dalhues, M. A., was born in Coesfeld, Germany in 1987. She studied at different European universities, namely in the UK, the Netherlands, Spain and Bulgaria, and completed her studies with a Master's degree in
International Communication. Her particular interest in foreign languages and culture as well as her concern for environmental issues and sustainable development caused the writing of this book about the environmental blogosphere in Germany and the UK.
Publisher: Hamburg : Diplomica Verlag, 2014
Edition: 1st ed
Copyright Date: ©2014
ISBN: 9783954896172
9783954891177
Branch Call Number: Electronic book
Characteristics: 1 online resource (74 pages)
Additional Contributors: ProQuest (Firm)

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