Who’s Covering Sustainable Development?

A Study by Communication 3000 Students at California State University, East Bay

MAY 2016

Media, no matter how technologically advanced; messages, no matter how skillfully packaged; and information, no matter how relevant, are not enough to bring about meaningful and sustainable results. These results can only be achieved if the people involved (stakeholders) are part of the process leading to change. This realization shifted (a) focus from media to people, from the products to the process. (World Bank, 2008)

Within our study of the history and criticism of communication, the strategy of development communication is one of the newest and strongest ways to facilitate change. Using content analysis as a research method to study global media, our findings are two-fold: First, we studied how newspapers covered the Sustainability Development Goals. Additionally, we examined the online presence and strategies of global NGOs seeking to engage audiences about social justice issues. Authored by students in COMM 3000 – History and Criticism of Communication, the study also includes a bibliography of sources to continue the conversation about an imbalance of news flows, whereby core, developed nations are more likely to be covered than periphery, underdeveloped nations.

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