Bridging ecojustice and media education

The Media Ecosystem

What Ecology Can Teach Us about Responsible Media Practice

In The Media Ecosystem, Antonio Lopez draws together the seemingly disparate realms of ecology and media studies to present a fresh and provocative interpretation of the current state of the mass media—and its potential future.

Lopez explores the connections between media and the environment, arguing that just as the world’s powers have seized and exploited the physical territories and natural resources of the earth, so, too, have they colonized the “cultural commons”—the space of ideas that everyone shares. He identifies the root of the problem in the privileging of “mechanistic” thinking over ecological intelligence, which recognizes that people live in a relationship with every other living thing on the planet.

In order to create a more sustainable media ecosystem—just like the preservation of organic ecosystems—we must reconnect our daily media activities to their impact on others and the environment. To become “organic media practitioners,” we must become aware of the impact of media use on the environment; recognize media’s influence on our perception of time, space, and place; understand media’s interdependence with the global economy; be conscious of media’s interaction with cultural beliefs; and develop an ethical framework in order to act upon these understandings. Above all, Lopez calls for media producers and consumers alike to bring a sense of ritual and collaboration back to the process of communication, utilizing collective intelligence and supporting a new culture of participation.

Containing both wide-reaching analysis and practical tips for more conscious media use, The Media Ecosystem is designed for all those who seek a more sustainable future.

North Atlantic Books, 2012
ISBN – Paperback: 9781583944592
ISBN – Ebook: 9781583944752

Chapter references
Information sheet: The Media Ecosystem (PDF)


“The media is the air we breathe and the water we swim in; Antonio López reminds us of its importance, and of its many failings—but he also suggests how we can increasingly take control of media-making in ways that can shift the world in positive directions.”

Bill McKibben, founder of and author of Deep Economy, The End of Nature, and Earth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet

“How can the burgeoning use of the mediasphere by billions of inhabitants of planet earth help us to address systemic environmental challenges? And what can our knowledge of ecological best practices contribute to our use of media? The Media Ecosystem offers a bridge between the cyber-realm and the bio-realm that could be one of the most important survival tools our species can wield in coming years.”

Howard Rheingold, author of Smart Mobs and Net Smart: How to Thrive Online

“The Media Ecosystem is a necessary, timely, and mighty useful piece of work.”

David Abram, author of The Spell of the Sensuous

“Twenty-first-century media is a moving target. In The Media Ecosystem, Antonio López helps us understand the multi-faceted (and more importantly, multi-cultural) aspects of delivering critical information in today’s world. Learn from nature and López’s book, and carry on the good fight!”

Randy Hayes, founder of Rainforest Action Network and director of Foundation Earth

“The turning point in López’s The Media Ecosystem is the call for archetypal intelligence through his citation of parallels between ancient Hopi traditions and his own anti-colonial urban punk scene. López is one of his generation’s original social thinkers. This book is urgent and chock-full of savage insights.”

Chellis Glendinning, author of My Name Is Chellis and I’m in Recovery from Western Civilization

“Antonio López has accomplished the Herculean task of creating a powerful manifesto for the media world! This is a thoughtful, challenging, and inspiring book, a wake-up call to all journalists, editors, writers, and publishers. The book is a plea for media men and women to help to create a sustainable, resilient, and joyful future in which people and nature can live in harmony with each other.”

Satish Kumar, editor in chief of Resurgence Magazine

“Combining media savvy, earth wisdom, and a deeply ethical account of today’s attention politics, Lopez hacks his way through the noosphere while keeping his feet on the ground. Sharp and accessible, The Media Ecosystem provides practical models for a green mediascape that will help us re-occupy the planet and the human imagination.”

Erik Davis, author of Nomad Codes: Adventures in Modern Esoterica and host of the radio show Expanding Mind

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