A study published just recently in the Social Indicators Research journal argues that nations that keep freedom of press at the center of their preoccupations are more likely to constantly work on improving their ecological footprint and push for sustainable development.
This investigation was carried out by Edson Tandoc, Jr., a doctoral student from the University of Missouri and Bruno Takahashi from the Michigan State University.
Their information sources were as follows: the Environmental Performance Index created by specialists working with the Yale University, statistics concerning human development provided by the United Nations, and a 2010 Gallup Poll focusing on happiness levels in various nations throughout the world.
Thus, they found that not only does freedom of press make for happier citizens – truth be told, this statement is rather common sense, – but that a free press more often than not leads to people leading a more responsible lifestyle environmentally-wise.
The explanation they provided for this social phenomenon is that, as a result of free press, people are much more aware of the problems society is facing and can take informed decisions.
Thus, they need not depend on the government to present them with bits and pieces of information, but can choose to read or watch whatever news sources they consider to be most accurate.
As the University of Missouri's News Bureau
reports, Edson Tandoc made a case of how, “A country with a free press is expected to be more open about what is wrong in their societies and with their environments.”
He went on to explain that, “A free press is likely to report about poor human conditions and environmental degradation, bringing problems to the attention of decision-makers. It should not come as a surprise, therefore, that press freedom is positively related to both environmental quality and human development.”
From where we stand, their findings do indeed make sense, as it is only due to the freedom of press that various green-oriented organizations manage to get their points across and make people more aware of what needs to be done in order to safeguard the natural world.