Lights, camera, environmental action : messages in youth environmental videos
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An Inconvenient Truth was a catalyst for change in the way many adults think about the environment. North American youth are perpetuating the dominant consumerist paradigm, and will need to change their attitudes and behaviour to restore the health of the planet in the future. This study identifies the content and messaging that youth see as effective to engage their peers in pro-environmental attitudes and actions. Middle school participants created environmental videos following a Participatory Video methodology. A content analysis of the videos revealed that youth are optimistic and advocate grassroots community action to “save the world.” The dominant messaging in the videos is “peer talk,” characterized by youth language and diction, youth speaking directly to the youth audience, youth talking to youth on screen, and content that is relevant to youth. These findings are recommended in a grounded theory of effective environmental education for youth through video.
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