New Report from Sustainability: ‘Good News and Bad’

Source: Sustainability, 31 January 2002

SustainAbility is pleased to announce the launch of its latest report, Good News & Bad: The Media, Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainable Development.
The media is one of the most powerful, yet least trusted and least accountable institutions in the world. And it has a crucial role to play in the transition to sustainability. So SustainAbility decided to take a closer look. "No other industry," the authors suggest, "will so powerfully influence how people and politicians think about (and act on) corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainable development (SD)."
In Good News & Bad, we investigate: the roles of the media in building the CSR and SD agendas for business; the ways in which media people perceive, prioritize and cover these agendas; and the governance, accountability and transparency options for the media industry itself.

The report surveys the media’s response to CSR and SD over the period 1991-2001 in four world regions: Asia, Europe, Latin America and the United States. It charts three waves and two downwaves of public concern and political action on the CSR and SD agendas. And it sketches three scenarios describing how these waves might play out as we move forward to 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) and beyond.

For business and NGOs the report sheds light on how to communicate with and through the media, concluding with some guideline Do’s and Don’ts. And for the media, who reckon with declining credibility, the report offers a set of recommendations in relation to governance, accountability, transparency and trust.