Taylor's FSLM Journals
Televised Ecotopianism: An Ecocritical Analysis on Environmental Risk and Risk Reduction Discourses in Philippine Environmental Documentaries

@ SEARCH Journal of Media and Communication Research

Online ISSN: 2672-7080

Jason Paolo R. Telles


Environmental and risk communication have become trends in many forms of mass media, including television. In the Philippines, local television stations have joined the bandwagon by producing their own versions of environmental programmes, for example, GMA Network’s award-winning broadcast documentaries such as Signos, Planet Philippines, Wildlife for Sale, and Oras Na. Grounded on the ecocritical theory, this paper discusses the paradigm dominating the discourses on environmental risk and risk reduction in the four documentaries. It has been found that the main framework of presentation and analysis on environmental risks and risk reduction is ecotopianism, which is problematic as it excludes socio-cultural aspects. This paper, therefore, calls for the inclusion of neglected perspectives on the topic such as transgressive ecotopianism, indigenous or traditional knowledge, and eco-Marxism. Presenting such alternative discourses on air encourages a well-informed audience, thus making them empowered to participate in the discussion and formulation of decisions and policies regarding the future of the environment and the planet as a whole.

Keywords: Ecocriticism, environmental documentaries, ecotopianism, risk communication