Media: how to accompany the environmental transition? (episode 1)
Episode 1/3. Inspire and push to action
Ma radio diffuse la matinale pendant que je scrolle l’actu sur mon smartphone ; je n’ai pas encore bu mon café que les médias m’ont déjà donné dix bonnes raisons de tomber en dépression. Or, s’il est indispensable de parler des problèmes, il l’est tout autant de parler des solutions ! Especially on ecology and environmental economics: shouldn’t journalists accompany the transition?
With the Dametis blogSo I wanted to interview journalists about their work. I will summarize what I have learned in three articles. May they inspire (episode 1) explain with pedagogy (episode 2) or investigate solutions (episode 3) all show that a different media treatment is possible, to better fight together against global warming.
– Episode 1/3: Inspire and Push to Action
Julian Aristizabal, CEO and co-founder of Dametis.
Episode 1. Inspire and push to action
I first contacted the impact journalist Cyrielle Hariel (BFM Business)co-author of Our reasons for being – Towards a sustainable and more human society (ed. Anne Carrière, April 9, 2021). She has decided to put her energy at the service of 17 objectives (SDGs), focusing exclusively on solutions, positive initiatives and “changemakers”. First observation: talking about what is going well sometimes corresponds to a quest for meaning on the part of the journalist himself – a quest for meaning that Cyrielle Hariel describes in her book Making the world’s heart beat (ed. Links that Liberate, 2018).
Currently, in his daily reports for the Impact » (BFM Business), she highlights all kinds of initiatives: from a label against programmed obsolescence to a zero plastic factory, via low-carbon cement, or even The Offices of the HeartThe association allows companies to house homeless people in their offices at night and at weekends. In his show ” Objective Raison d’être » (also on BFM Business), she shares concrete examples of companies’ commitments to social and environmental responsibility (SER).
His mission and passion: “To inspire the greatest number of people, she explains. Managers, entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurs, young people… everyone! To show citizens that everyone can act, at their own level, whatever their age, wherever they are… If only as a consumer, by making the right choices. »
« Part of the role of the media “
Inspire… is this the role of the media? I am convinced that it is, and with the Dametis blog we asked the question to Arthur Haimovici, editor-in-chief of HEC Stories . “I think this is part of their role. Publicizing the efforts of all of us – companies, public policies, associations, etc. – makes it possible to give examples and show that the transition is a groundswell. This helps to get society moving. However, we must remain vigilant: in wanting to inspire, the media must not become ambassadors for the greenwashing of certain companies. Nowadays, for a journalist, it is very difficult to identify whether a player is acting with the will to really do the best possible, or whether he remains in a communication strategy. » An opinion on “Objectif Raison d’être”, mentioned above, which is a reference on CSR? “This is an example of a well thought out format to deal with this pitfall of greenwashing, especially the idea of a systematic challenger from the same sector and a debriefing at the end. »
“Don’t buy this jacket” ?
But by highlighting ethical brands, do the media encourage consumption (“responsible” consumption, but consumption nonetheless)? Although I am absolutely opposed to degrowthI don’t think it’s unlawful for readers and journalists to ask this question. Especially since few companies, like the American Patagonia in this shock campaign “Don’t buy this jacketcall for buying less (in addition to buying “better”).
As far as I am concerned, growing up in Colombia – and therefore in an extremely unequal country – convinced me very early on that the challenge is to ensure that everyone has access to a certain level of goods and services, while protecting the planet and human rights. To achieve this, it is essential to make consumers aware of the most ethical products and services. But that’s not all: telling the success stories of committed companies in the media demonstrates to the entire economic ecosystem that financial and non-financial performance are not mutually exclusive. And these storytellings – in the noble sense of the term – make us dream, gradually building a counter-imaginary of entrepreneurial success!
Julian Aristizabal (CEO and co-founder of Dametis), with the editorial staff of the Dametis blog.
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