Sparking an Interest in Local Water Issues: Social Media as an Enabler for (Hyper)local Community Engagement in Environmental Issues and the Role of Solution Journalism

Franzisca Weder*

*Korrespondierende*r Autor*in für diese Arbeit

Publikation: Beitrag in Buch/KonferenzbandBeitrag in Sammelwerk


In this chapter, the role of social media as an enabler for local community engagement regarding environmental issues is explored. The results of ten case studies dealing with national and local water management and local communities’ response to imminent water scarcity are presented. Water supply and river basin management plans, in general, are highly complex issues. Here, local newspapers and their social media engagement are assumed to offer new ways to reduce environmental issues’ complexity, placing them in a (hyper)local context to create a digital communication space to foster community engagement. Eighty-one narrative interviews around various bodies of water in Europe, Australia, South Africa and the US were conducted. These interviews illuminate how communities experience water scarcity, and how a local communication space is created and maintained. Findings reinforce dependence on the self-perception and reflexivity of the local journalists alongside their willingness to use social media and their role in the local digital communication space. The chapter concludes with a call for a reconceptualization of local environmental journalism as solution journalism, capable of supporting communities tackling environmental issues and conflict.

Titel des SammelwerksGlobal Transformations in Media and Communication Research
Herausgeber*innenJoana Diaz-Pont, Pieter Maeseele, Annika Egan Sjölander, Maitreyee Mishra, Kerrie Foxwell-Norton
VerlagPalgrave Macmillan
ISBN (elektronisch)978-3-030-37330-6
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-37329-0
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2020
Extern publiziertJa


ReiheGlobal Transformations in Media and Communication Research

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© 2020, The Author(s).