Free «The Role Media Plays in Covering Events of Global Importance» Essay Sample
Climate change and especially the problem of an increase in the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has for a long time been a subject of discussion. Industrial revolution is regarded as the main cause for this due to human use of fossil fuels to meet the demand for power required to run the industries. When the fossil fuels burn, they release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere; CO2 absorbs heat as compared to such gases as oxygen and nitrogen, which do not. As a result, the earth’s temperature rises. Even though CO2 is important for the earth’s atmosphere, its increase will always cause global warming. During the last six years, the hottest temperatures were recorded on Earth, while carbon dioxide emissions increased by 2.5% over the last one year.
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The Peoples Climate March that took place in New York on September 21 was called to attract attention of the world leaders to the problem of climate change and to compel them to act in order to curb the rising levels of greenhouse gases, which are altering climate patterns. The march was two days before the commencement of the United Nations Climate Summit in New York City. People in over 150 countries marched too to show their solidarity with the need to address factors causing climate change (“Climate change marches”).
Other reasons that led to organization of such a march include: galvanization of political will for a new global treaty by the end of the year 2015, the need for clean energy that will be contributed by the use of alternative sources of fuel, such as wind and solar energy (Resnikoff and Sakuma). Some prominent figures joined the March to show the urgency of the mater. Among them were UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, former US Vice president Al Gore and Mayor of New York (Foderaro).
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The media elevated the September 21 March to a very great extent. American magazine New Republic told about the event nine days before the date. In its article, it indicated that climate change is no longer an issue of the scientists alone, and appropriate actions should be taken by the populists. MSNBC covered an article by Harriet Shugarman that highlighted the upcoming event and contributed to participation in it by indicating that it was an individual responsibility to attend it. The fact that the March exceeded the expectation in terms of the number of attendees was a clear indication of the role that media played in mobilizing people. Other media including The New York Times, CBS, Al Jazeera, etc. and twitter traffic also mentioned about the UN summit, as well as the March, in their articles and reportages. All these media indicated the big role the March would play in addressing the global climate change.
The images of people holding placards of sunflowers and banners portraying messages aimed to conserve the environment prevailed in most media. Fox News Channel showed a photo of people holding placards with writings about climate change and pictures of the birds. The New York Times and The Guardian also had a photo of people holding sunflower placards. In Melbourne, Australia, a puppet of the Prime Minister Tony Abbot was used by the marchers in protest against his repeal of the carbon price (Rogers). Generally, the March was treated as very significant. Most local and international media headlined the news. This is an indication that a majority of the people across the globe are concerned about climate change.
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The information relayed by the various media was rather similar except only for different images that were used to express people’s feelings about the effects of climate change. In my opinion, The Guardian was the most comprehensive media as it dedicated more space to the coverage including images and information than any other media studied.
International press prevailed with images of and messages from various world leaders, celebrities and just from ordinary people. Famous actress Emma Thompson and John Sauven from Greenpeace organization appeared in London among the 40,000 marchers. 10-year-old Lauren from Oxford had a homemade banner that declared that time is ticking away and something has to be done to rectify the situation. In Paris, a protester was wearing a Guy Fawkes mask, holding a banner reading: “World leaders act!” (“Climate change marches”).
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The March organizers would have improved media coverage by ensuring that more media provided live reportage of the March. This would attract more people, even those who could not manage to attend it. March organizers could have compelled the very key figures from the government to participate in advertising the event. For example, a call from the US president would have made the event a global matter, making heads of other states take similar actions and conduct in their nations the same mission. The fact is that some leaders of the biggest countries-polluters, such as China, Australia, India, and Canada, did not support the event. It shows a very big gap towards achievement of a carbon-free world by the year 2030, which is a major aim. Also, participation of young celebrities in the preparation and more advertisements prior to the event would have attracted more youths (“New York climate march).
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Media coverage had a huge impact on the world leaders that participated in the UN Climate Summit. Statements by the secretary of state John Kerry had a great impact as well since he had shown commitment to address the crisis. He indicated that climate change posed significant threat that required immediate attention (“300,000 marchers ring”). The threat posed can be equated to fight against terrorism, Isis or Ebola. In their speeches, world leaders expressed their concerns for a better world free from carbon in future. These could be achieved by the use of environmentally friendly fuels or clean energy. This will include harnessing of solar energy, planting of trees and the use of wind energy (Foderaro).
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In conclusion, media plays a very big role in informing about global events. One of such events called People’s Climate March took place in New York this spring. Thanks to wide media presentation, this march was significantly promoted, and thus, many people learned about it participated in it.