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Media Spotlight

The media can provide oxygen to support innovations, or prompt action on social problems. Al Gore’s film, ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ did much to raise awareness about the dangers of climate change; ‘Black Gold’ on coffee and ‘The End of the Line’ on fishing are good examples of linking film-making to social change, with clear actions for individual viewers to take. Other examples of the media as a prompt include programmes that create public pressure and encourage broader media campaigns. Seminal programmes include the 1960s BBC drama ‘Cathy Come Home’ which raised awareness about homelessness, the 1989 BBC documentary, ‘John’s Not Mad’ which followed a young man suffering from Tourette syndrome and did much to expose some of the misperceptions around the disease.