Environmental Communication in India: Lessons from Orissa

Mishra, Maitreyee Environmental Communication in India: Lessons from Orissa. In: 20th AMIC Annual Conference on “Taking Stock of Media and Communication Studies: The Challenges, 24-27th June 2011, Hyderabad, India. (Submitted)


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Orissa, one of the poorest states in India with a per capita net state domestic product that is 35 percent below the national average (Panda, 2008), is also one of the country‟s most ecologically sensitive regions, frequented by droughts, floods, and other calamities. The state‟s environment and climate has witnessed a drastic change over the last few decades with rising temperatures, massive deforestation, coastal erosion and agricultural decline among several other environmental problems. In 1999, coastal Orissa was faced by a “super cyclone” that led to the deaths of over 15,000 people and destroyed trees and houses among several other things. Post neo-liberal reforms, Orissa‟s government has focused extensively on industrialisation through mineral resource extraction to alleviate poverty, often resulting in the displacement of indigenous peoples from their traditional homes that are located in mineral-rich areas of the state. This has also led to the opening of Orissa‟s natural resources to exploitation by both national and international industrial houses, further causing contamination of water bodies, deforestation and innumerable ecological destruction of these areas. Despite the Orissa government‟s recognition of Orissa‟s massive environmental crisis, environmental needs have been pushed aside for larger development goals. The state has a considerable media presence with several newspapers; television and radio channels; and a history of cinema. The mass media of the state have been largely echoing views on industrialisation and private investment as laid out by the state government (Mishra, 2010). There has been a widespread support, in the media, of industrial activities in ecologically fragile areas. This places the mass media of the state in a position of failing to provide adequate information about environmental problems witnessed in the state, particularly when related to industrial activities. There has been a gross absence of environment-related stories in the state‟s print and electronic media, and where information is available; there is a reliance on information from government

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: environmental communication, Orissa, environmental movements, media
Subjects: Communication > MIC Manipal
Depositing User: MIC Library
Date Deposited: 23 Sep 2011 06:50
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2011 06:50
URI: http://eprints.manipal.edu/id/eprint/1378

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