Sample Communication and Environmental Sustainability Paper

Communication and Environmental Sustainability

Mean world theory is a situation in which the controversies in the mass media makes the viewers believe that the situation in their external environment is dangerous more than they can comprehend. This is a supposition of the cultivation theory derived by Gerber, one of the earliest researchers who did extensive studies on the impacts of television on the people. According to his theory, individuals who get their facts from watching the television believe that the world is a very miserable place full of suffering and intimidating situations. More often, they fear to leave their comfort zones for fear of getting trapped in the troubles of the world. The more one watches the television, the more fearful they become in life. The most prominent behavior of these people is that they spend most of their time indoors watching television with the hope that someone would make the situation better (PEJNEWS, 2006).

Environmental issues are more often aired on the television so as to inform people of the things that happen around the world. Robert Cox, 2006, deeply explores the issue of environmental communication. According to him, the environmental changes have caused negative economic impacts on the countries’ economies. Most people in the corporate world have been threatened by this negative influence on the economy. For example, most east Africa countries like Uganda and Kenya are experiencing droughts and famine due to these environmental changes. Cox and Pezzullo was interested in finding out how the various concepts of environmental communication can be applicable for public relation. This is because the corporate world had been threatened by the state of the environment as they watch their TV. Therefore, it was important to show them how they could help the status quo through collective social responsibility.

The involvement of the corporate world in the shared social responsibility with regards to sustainable environmental conservation is a key step to driving away the fear caused due to watching the television. The expectations of such people as they prepare to go and do something in the name of conserving the environment are usually very high. They come up with impulsive budgets for the CSR programs. Therefore, it would befitting to conclude that the effects of the mean world theory are beneficial at some point (Gross, Morgan, Signorielli & Shanahan, 2002).

Considerable interest has been developed in the environment with various corporate bodies focusing on the environmental issues. For example, United Nations Environmental Programmes have come up with seminars and conferences to educate public on environmental issues. The great attention has made many to believe that the situation of the environment is almost beyond repair. The work has been mainly on constructing frameworks that work for the environment. For example, Bowen believes that all the businesses have a responsibility to follow the line of actions that are desirable to the society objectives and the environment. All enterprises should thus abide by this belief while going about their activities (Cox & Pezzullo, 2006).

A man by the name Friedman tends to defer to the general opinion that the companies have a good duty of environmental sustainability. According to him, this is a responsibility of the government to the citizens of the land and the businesses should not meddle into this but instead, leave it to the government. A government with the so much public relation would help, but the situation looks so good while in a real sense the situations are very worse. This would send people into comfort zones while the rest of the world would be burning (Cox & Pezzullo, 2006).

In conclusion, the public relation should create a change in the way people view the situations in the world. As a matter of fact, those who rely on television for information should have their thoughts cleared by public relation. However, most importantly is to have them involved in the real world to see the situations for themselves.



Cox, R. & Pezzullo, P. C. (2006). Environmental Communication and the Public Sphere.    Thousand Oaks: Sage Publishing.

Gerbner, G., Gross, L., Morgan, M., Signorielli, N. & Shanahan, J. (2002). “Chapter 3: Growing up with television: Cultivation process. In Bryant Jennings and Dolf Zillman (eds.). Media effects: Advances in theory and research (2nd ed.). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. pp. 43–67

PEJNEWS. (2006). George Gerbner Leaves the Mean World Syndrome. Peace, Earth & Justice News. Retrieved from: