EiJ Case Study Framework: Question 6

How have environmental problems been reported on by media, environmental groups, companies and government agencies?

The goal of this question is to get a sense of if and how environmental issues in a community have been discussed in the media. Media can help researchers, activists, and community members develop an understanding of the stakeholders, their positions (see questions 4 and 5), and whether an issue is known and being addressed. It's also important to think about where issues have been discussed and who the audiences of those publications are--the question asks about the media (international, national, regional, and local), environmental organizations, companies, and government organizations. For example, the implications of a story about pollution from metal plating facilities in Santa Ana being published in national newspaper like the Washington Post, a local Spanish-language only paper, and in a trade magazine for metal plating companies are all very different. Think about what the goal of the publication is--are they trying to raise public awareness about an issue, contribute to scholarly knowledge, or find the best practices for a particular industry?

Where has there been data divergence?

What is data divergence?

Data divergence occurs when people understand problems differently because they use different data to characterize problems, interpret the same data differently, or don’t do the data work to understand risks and problems. This is an issue for all types of environmental justice work, but especially work that is focused on climate change because of the politicized nature of the issue and the prevalence of climate denialism.

Example

This timeline, created by Ann LeHolland, presents divergent narratives surrounding compensation for affected victims in Vietnam's Formosa Disaster, focusing on the difference between state-funded and independent media.