Environmental Identity: Information Strategies for Mobilizing ˋNegative Memory' of the Audience


The article analyzes the issues of interactive media culture development in modern society. The authors consider information and media strategies as tools for constructing the ecological identity of deprived territories residents (on the example of Chelyabinsk region). The article is based on research carried out between 2015 to 2019, monitoring the environmental situation in Chelyabinsk region. Mass representative surveys, held among the southern Urals citizens, expert interviews, content analysis of official information sources and informal channels of communication users (social networks), thematic debates with regional journalistic community served to ground the main ideas for this work. The resource mobilization idea of the ‘negative memory’ of the audience is the key conclusion, obtained during the analysis of sociological data. Negative memory is a stable negative perception of the territory ecological image under the influence of the broadcasted media content. The theoretical principles of memory studies are the base of this approach. The research has fixed the contradiction between the subjective readiness of the audience for constructive mobilization in the area of environmental initiatives and the ’negative ecological memory’ of the territory. To model the favorable environmental media content it is essential, firstly, to adjust it by: i) using the resource of opinion leaders and social advertising; ii) engaging the expert community in a broad public dialogue on environmental issues; iii) developing independent media projects aimed at radical transformation of the environmental agenda coverage in Chelyabinsk region.

Keywords: information strategies, audience, ecology, identity, negative memory

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