Graduation Date

Fall 2018

Document Type



Master of Arts degree with a major in Social Science, Environment and Community

Committee Chair Name

Nicholas Perdue

Committee Chair Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Second Committee Member Name

Cutcha Risling Baldy

Second Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Third Committee Member Name

Will Goldenberg

Third Committee Member Affiliation

Community Member or Outside Professional

Subject Categories

Environment and Community


The percentage of the world’s population living in cities continues to grow, while media technologies become ever more ubiquitous. As a result, the mass media’s role in connecting the general public to the natural world will only increase; the wildlife genre of television may have a particularly large role to play in this regard. Unfortunately, previous authors have argued that the over-dramatized depictions of nature in mainstream wildlife programs may serve to disconnect viewers from the natural world. Scholarship has also not kept up with recent developments in wildlife television, with few authors writing about hugely successful programs like Planet Earth II or innovative series such as Wild SafariLIVE. To understand how each of these programs portrays the natural world, FRAMINGS OF NATURE IN PLANET EARTH II AND WILD SAFARILIVE by Josh Gross used a three-stage model from visual anthropology to apply the most widely-cited definition of media frames to their content: identifying repeating patterns of messages, or frames, within a sample of episodes. I then drew on literature about universal human values and connectedness to nature to theorize about how the most common frames in each program, along with more general features, might influence viewers’ pro-environmental attitudes and behaviors. I found that the dominant messaging pattern in Planet Earth II is “Spectacle,” whereas Wild SafariLIVE emphasizes “Discovery and Exploration.” While both of these programs are likely to foster pro-environmental attitudes and behaviors, Wild SafariLIVE might do so more effectively.

Citation Style