Editor’s Note

Dear Readers,

NASA has recently confirmed: 2023 was the hottest year on record, overtaking 2016. As climate change impacts deepen and further shape living realities, other environmental challenges too unfold worldwide. This special issue of the GMJ turns its attention to environmental communication, with most articles reflecting upon Indian experiences.

Dr. Oinam Redgit Metei, Kamble Divya Dilip and Chandiwal Ayush Pawan examine trends in environmental journalism research between 2003 and 2023, using a bibliometric analysis. They identify four themes in environmental journalism over this 20 year period: “framing for public engagement”, “local and global: democratising policy and practice”, “journalistic challenges” and “setting standards and ethics”.

Bhavana Bharadwaj and Dr. Kulveen Trehan write about plastic pollution- an ever-growing environmental problem that shows no signs of disappearing. India’s plastic problem is immense- India produces large swathes of it, and like other parts of the world, plastics have been found on the Himalayas and in more secluded ecosystems. The authors focus on plastic awareness among the youth.

Gunjan Sharma and Sneh Gupta present the case of Dhanuari Wetlands in Uttar Pradesh, India, where they look at community awareness and engagement in the conservation of the wetlands. The study was conducted over 6 months and examines the use of ecocinema for conservation awareness and action. The authors used Photovoice, among other methods, arguing that it “promotes community engagement”. Four themes are identified from their study: “fear of ecological identity”, “intervention for participation for biodiversity conservation”, “advocacy for national and international intervention”. vSaswat Pati and Dr. Vijay Vijayan’s work provides the case of the Bhitarkanika National Park in Odisha, India where they look at the relevance of audio-visual communication in community awareness and conservation efforts. R. Akilah Lakshmi and Dr. J. Balasubramaniam look at environmental activism on social media.

These diverse topics provide an overview of the multitude of environmental issues that plague us and the many ways that environmental journalism and communication can help in dealing with them.

I thank Dr. Padma Rani for inviting me to guest edit this special issue, and Dr. Manjushree Naik for her support.

Dr. Maitreyee Mishra