Media & Communication Department

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Katie Dunphy
Silences and sounds in media coverage
of war and the environment

Here's one way of asking the question: "Instead of watching the news each night on television, or devouring the newspaper each morning, say you heard only one newscast a week, or read every third or fourth issue of Newsweek. If you reflected carefully on what you did read, I think in some ways you'd understand more about the planet." - Bill McKibben

During this time of intense international crisis, we as Communication students have a particular responsibility to call upon our experiences and education to foster conversation. I have chosen to share with my peers my source attribution study that is currently in progress. I am studying popular press coverage of war's impact on the environment. This project is an avenue in which to discover what is being covered and who is being highlighted through this coverage. Who are "credible" sources and why are they credible? What stories are being told and which are being silenced? What agenda's are being advanced and which are not? These questions are integral in the study of media. Professional practices of sourcing and constructing objectivity have continuously been a basis for conversation in class and here is a practical way of observing and analyzing these theories. For sourcing and objectivity ultimately shape the sounds and silences of our media and its relationship to the environment. Inspiration for this study has been drawn from Rachel Carson, Bill McKibben and Michael Fro