Reversed Positionality, Reversed Reality? The Multimodal Environmental Justice Frame in Mainstream and Alternative Media.

Renée Moernaut, Jelle Mast, Yves Pepermans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Environmental injustice, the unequal distribution of benefits and burdens, is key to understanding climate change. Yet, mainstream media are criticized for only reproducing anthropocentrism when discussing the concern, while this ideology causes socio-environmental problems. Current research is preoccupied with the verbal mode, while visual and verbal modes always work in tandem. This prevents a full understanding of the problems. Also, most studies overlook the alternative media, which may counterbalance the dominant perspective. We have therefore carried out a multimodal framing analysis of a corpus of mainstream and alternative articles published in Belgium. The identified subframes, ‘Unequal Vulnerability’ and ‘Unequal Attribution’, show a remarkable reversal of roles and responsibilities. Yet, the counter-hegemonic subframe is still struggling to find a salient multimodal language to depict complex views. Further development is necessary. We hope that this study incites other research on multimodal framing in general and environmental justice in particular.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)476-505
Number of pages30
JournalInternational Communication Gazette
Volume80
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2018

Keywords

  • Alternative and mainstream media
  • climate change
  • environmental justice
  • multimodal framing
  • positionality
  • socio-environmental paradigms

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