IIMB Communication faculty Dr. Deepti Ganapathy publishes book ‘Media and Climate Change – Making Sense of Press Narratives’ with Routledge

Bengaluru: Professor Deepti Ganapathy, faculty in the Management Communication area at IIM Bangalore, has published her book ‘Media and Climate Change – Making Sense of Press Narratives’ with Routledge, on November 30, 2021. The book looks at the Indian media’s coverage of Climate Change, and investigates its role in representing the complex realities of climate uncertainties and its effects on communities and the environment.

The book focuses on the Western Ghats as a macrocosm of Climate Change complexities and delves into a five-year analysis of the coverage of media reporting on Climate Change – in the period between 2012 and 2017.

Commenting on the book, Ricky Kej, Grammy Award Winner and UNCCD Land Ambassador notes, “Deepti Ganapathy’s writing is accessible – which makes this book relevant to politicians, journalists, academics, climate activists and even artists like me. It provides a balanced and informed analysis of India’s environmental governance that focuses on managing the impact of development while staring at a biodiversity crisis. With a much needed positive tone and in a lucid manner, the reader gains a deep and rich insight into the conundrum that the media faces while mediating between the policy makers and environmentalists as they unravel the multidimensional and complex nature of climate change in India.”

The author explores the topic through various chapters such as – Why report Climate Change?  Is the media shying away from covering Climate Change issues? Comparative analysis of two Indian broadsheets, Mediatization of press narratives, Climate Change Communication, Creating community-driven reports on Climate Change, and Reimagining the narrative of Climate Change. For this, the author travelled extensively into the Western Ghats and met many stakeholders.

Professor Andrew Hoffman, Holcim (US) Professor of Sustainable Enterprise, University of Michigan writes about this book, “The book appropriately takes an expansive view of what we call ‘media’ today, examining both traditional and digital media. And, in a very interesting twist, explores how the ‘digital divide’ poses challenges for marginalized communities to have a voice in the climate debate in India. And yet, as Ganapathy shows, these communities (specifically forest dwellers) have the closest connection to the environment and are ‘rich storehouses of knowledge that have been passed down from generations.’ In a unique and important facet this book explores how they construe and make sense of the news coverage related to Climate Change and how they could become effective activists in this narrative if the media would mine them as a credible source. Overall, this book can lead to collective Climate Action. I recommend this book for both scholars and practitioners alike.” 

The book explores the socioeconomic and cultural understanding of climate issues and the influence of environment communication via the news and the public response to it. It also examines the position of the media as a facilitator between scientists, policy makers and the public. Drawing extensively from case studies, personal interviews, comparative analysis of international climate coverage and a close reading of newspaper reports and archives, the author studies the pattern and frequency of climate coverage in the Indian media and their outcomes. With a special focus on the Western Ghats, the book discusses the political rhetoric, policy parameters and events that trigger a debate about development over biodiversity crisis and environmental risks in India.

This book will be of interest to scholars and researchers of environmental studies, especially Climate Change, Media Studies, Public Policy and South Asian Studies, as well as conscientious citizens who deeply care for the environment.

“The media has a critical role in engaging the public on the implications of Climate Change. This book plays an important role in setting out the evolving recognition of this role. Most people understand key issues based on what they see in the media; this places an important responsibility on journalists to be evidence based in their representations. This helps key policy initiatives gain public support. Protecting a global jewel like the Western Ghats is the prize if this is achieved, and that seems entirely worthwhile!,” adds Dr Marie Doole, Environment Policy Researcher, New Zealand, who has also written a review for the book.

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