Chapter 3 “Media as Environmental Education,” in Antonio López’s book The Media Ecosystem discusses the connection between agriculture and the media and describes correlations with consumption. The author first explains the title and says that all types of media are some type of environmental education. At fist I was a bit puzzled by this but it is indeed true. The media dictates a way to interact with the environment. In this case “environmental education” does not necessarily mean sustainability. Usually when I hear the term “environmental education” I associate it with learning how to be environmentally friendly or learning about environmental science.
I was very taken aback when López spoke about Shakira advertising pepsi as being an act of praising colonialism. After reading this I tried to find the commercial the author described of Shakira on a crucifix stage. I found many Shakira pepsi ads but could not find the one by this description. Perhaps the ad is no longer available to the public or maybe I completely missed it. Shakira was my sister’s favorite idol growing up so I have had a high appreciation for the Latina star. Before reading this chapter however I was oblivious to the argument that she has been very “colonialized” and has left behind may of the traditions from her culture. In my eyes I saw her blonde hair simply as a personal choice and her singing in English purely to reach a larger audience. In my childhood innocence I never thought about the negative connotations.
Lópoz proceeded to blow my mind further when he described the connection between agriculture and media. I never knew “broadcast” came from the act of seed casting. Although I constantly use “stream” and news “feeds” I never really stopped to think about their origin. My lack of awareness to this and to Shakira just made me realize how easy it is to let media feed us. It also made me ponder how much people actually care. My peers and I in this class are fortunate enough to have access to good education but even though we are aware of the power of the media we still use it daily. We know about monocultures and how very few companies control most of the media. As an environmental analysis major I am aware of most of the green washing that occurs on television. There is just so much of it however that I have become really used to it and it has scarily enough become second nature.
Questions to the class: How does learning about negative motives and connotations of the media change your usage of media sources as a consumer?
Why is it important for people to be aware of media consumerism and how do you think awareness will change the environment we live in?