DOI: https://doi.org/10.17721/1728-2659.2022.31.06

Keywords: ecological threats, ecolinguistics, media ecology, ecolinguistic consciousness, anthropomorphic metaphor, socio- and psycholinguistic experiment


This study focuses on the coverage of environmental threats in the German-language media. The methodology of this study is based on the ecolinguistic approach, particularly the achievements of media ecology, identifying the harmonization of the media space as a priority for journalism and a relevant area for linguistic studies. The German-language media focuses on the environmental challenges caused by the war in Ukraine, the threat of imminent climate change, and the COVID-19 pandemic. The effectiveness of their media presentation by the lexical and stylistic means is becoming relevant for linguistic research. The anthropocentric worldview of the human being causes a significant manipulative effect of anthropomorphic metaphor on the reader and helps to promote a conscious attitude to the environment. The distinguished models of metaphor and metonymy, used to increase the emotional plane of the described content, indicate the possibility of their use as a tool for awakening ecolinguistic consciousness. The socio- and psycholinguistic experiment determined the peculiarities of the German-speaking respondents' reception of publications on environmental issues. Representatives of the younger generation (mostly students) were interviewed, which allowed forming an idea of their interest in overcoming ecological problems and finding out popular sources of information about them. The impossibility of an immediate comprehensive expert assessment of the consequences of the war in Ukraine for all ecosystems determines further research into the means of media attention to this issue.


1. Kryminalnyi codex Ukrainy. Stattia 441. [The Criminal Code of Ukraine] Ecotsyd. https://kodeksy.com.ua/kriminal_nij_kodeks_ukraini/statja-441.htm (In Ukr.).
2. Rozmaritsa, I.O. (2004). Linguokognityvni osoblyvosti komunikatsii u sferi ekologii (na materiali suchasnoi angliyskoi movy). [Linguocognitive features of communication in the field of ecology (based on modern English)]. Avtoreferat dys. … kand. nauk : 10.02.04. KNU imeniTarasa Shevchenka. (In Ukr.).
3. Shevchenko, V. E. (2017). Convergentnist yak osnovna oznaka suchasnyh media. Kyiv: Kafedra multymediynyh technolgiy i mediadyzaynu Institutu Zhurnalistiki KNU imeniTarasa Shevchenka, pp.8-17.
4. Aigner S. (2022). Krieg in der Ukraine schädigt die Umwelt nachhaltig. [The war in Ukraine is damaging the environment]. Ifosperber. (In Germ.). https://www.infosperber.ch/umwelt/luft-klima/krieg-in-der-ukraine-schaedigtdie-umwelt-nachhaltig/
5. Arnhold, M. (2022). Was Putins Krieg für den Klimaschutz bedeutet. [What Putin's war for the climate protection means]. www.rnd.de. (In Germ.). https://www.rnd.de/politik/putins-krieg-und-klimaschutz-wird-das-1-5-gradziel-unerreichbarKIG5C6EDBA3RAHDSXUEVP6T4Q.html?msclkid=fc590475b1d611ec9937 d15b18e91e61
6. Ballenthien, J. (2020). Schützen, was wir lieben! Robin Wood [Protect what we love! Robin Wood]. Der Spiegel. Robin Wood.de. (In Germ.). https://www.robinwood.de/blog/sch%C3%BCtzen-was-wir-lieben
7. Bauchmüller, M. (2022). Jetzt erst recht [It is high time]. Süddeutsche Zeitung. (In Germ.). https://www.sueddeutsche.de/wissen/ukraine-klimaschutz-kohle-gas1.5575000
8. Bednarek, M., Caple, H. (2010). Playing with environmental stories in the news – good or bad practice? Discourse & Communication, 4 (1), pp. 5–31.
9. Caple, H., Huan, C., Bednarek, M. (2020). Multimodal News Analysis across Cultures. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
10. Chen, S. (2016). Language and ecology: A content analysis of ecolinguistics as an emerging research field, Ampersand, 3, pp. 108–116.
11. Durnjew, D., Scholl, S. (2018). Ukraine droht Umweltkatastrophe wegen Krieg [Ukraine threatened by environmental catastrophe because of war]. Berliner Morgenpost. (In Germ.). https://www.morgenpost.de/ politik/article216043497/Schleichende-Katastrophe-Ukraine-Krieg-vergiftetdie-Umwelt.html
12. Ehring, G. (2021). Die Coronakrise ist eigentlich Kindergarten [The corona crisis is actually kindergarten]. Deutschlandfunk. (In Germ.). https://www.deutschlandfunk.de/klimakrise-die-coronakrise-ist-eigentlichkindergarten-100.html
13. Fluchs, S. (2022). Ukraine: Wie Kriege die Umwelt schädigen [Ukraine: How wars damage the environment]. Institut der deutschen Wirtschaft. (In Germ.). https://www.iwkoeln.de/presse/iw-nachrichten/sarah-fluchs-wie-kriege-die-umwelt- schaedigen.html
14. Heuberger, R. (2018). Overcoming Anthropocentrism With Anthropomorphic and Physiocentric Uses of Language? The Routledge Handbook of Ecolinguistics. Alwin F. Fill, Hermine Penz (ed.). New-York, London: Routledge, pp. 342–254.
15. Kraa, M. (2022). Ukraine-Krieg: Was bedeutet der Konflikt für den Klimaschutz? [Ukraine war: What does the conflict mean for climate protection?]. BR 24. (In Germ.). https://www.br.de/nachrichten/deutschlandwelt/ukraine-krieg-was-bedeutet-der-konflikt-fuer-den-klimaschutz,SyGd2bS
16. Kuckartz, U. (2013). Umweltbewusstsein und Umweltverhalten. [Ecological awareness and ecological behavior]. Berlin: Springer-Verlag. (In Germ.).
17. Materynska, O. (2019). Das anthropomorphe Bild des Krieges in den Deutschen und Ukrainischen Massenmedien [The anthropomorphic image of war in the German and Ukrainian mass media]. Lingua Montenegrina, 2019, Vol. 24, 153-167. Web of Science Core Collection. (In Germ.). http://www.fcjk.me/lingua-montenegrina
18. Materynska, O. (2021). Translating anthropomorphic metaphors of war: an ecolinguistic approach, Proceedings of the International Research-toPractice Conference for Translators, Young Scholars and Students TITA 2020, SHS Web of Conferences, 105, pp. 1–12. https://doi.org/10.1051/shsconf/202110501004
19. Meirone, C. (2022). Krieg in der Ukraine: Eine Katastrophe auch für die Umwelt! [War in Ukraine: A catastrophe for the environment too!]. www.daswetter.com. (In Germ.). https://www.daswetter.com/nachrichten/ aktuelles/krieg-umwelt-katastrophe-wetter-klima-ukraine-russland.html
20. Merlot, J. (2022). Das neue Tschernobyl-Risiko [The new Chernobyl risk]. Spiegel. (In Germ.). https://www.spiegel.de/wissenschaft/ukraine-kriegdas-neue-tschernobyl-risiko-a-e30867a7-ae54-417f-bd59-d60310796b88
21. Mühlhäusler, P. (2003) Language of Environment – Environment of Language. London: Battlebridge.
22. Pinzler, P. (2020). Nehmt den Klimawandel so ernst wie Corona [Take climate change as seriously as Corona]. Die Zeit Online. (In Germ.). https://www.zeit.de/politik/ausland/2020-10/klimakrise-eu-gipfel-co2obergrenze-erderwaermung-hitze-todesfaelle
23. Radbruch, L., Schaible, H-G. (2022). Krieg und humanitäre Katastrophe in der Ukraine [War and the humanitarian catastrophe in Ukraine], Schmerz, 36, pp. 79–80. (In Germ.). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00482-022-00644-y
24. Radtke, R. (2022). Ist die Corona-Pandemie langfristig gesehen eine ebenso ernste Krise wie der Klimawandel? [Is the corona pandemic just as serious as climate change in the long run?]. Statista. (In Germ.). https://de.statista.com/statistik/daten/studie/1120252/umfrage/umfrage-zumvergleich-der-corona-krise-mit-der-klimakrise-nach-laendern/
25. Riedmann, B. (2021). Die Große Schmelze [The Great Meltdown]. Der Spiegel. (In Germ.). https://www.spiegel.de/wissenschaft/nordpol-und-suedpol-istdas-grosse-eis-der-erde-noch-zu-retten-a-a5883865-82b9-48c7-8f33d08cc1ac06ca
26. Rothe, K. (2016). Medienökologie – Zu einer Ethik des Mediengebrauchs [Media Ecology − towards an ethics of media usage]. Zeitschrift für Medienwissenschaft. Schwerpunkt: Medienökologien, 14 (1), pp. 46-57. (in Germ.).
27. Scheidler, F. (2022). Wie der Ukraine-Krieg die Zukunft der Menschheit gefährdet [How the Ukraine war endangers the future of mankind]. www.heise.de. (In Germ.). https://www.heise.de/tp/features/Wie-der-UkraineKrieg-die-Zukunft-der-Menschheit-gefaehrdet-6540417.html?seite=all
28. Schmidt, R. (2021). Pandemie und Klimakrise haben erstaunliche Gemeinsamkeiten [The pandemic and the climate crisis have amazing similarities]. Fernuniversität in Hagen. (In Germ.). ttps://www.fernunihagen.de/universitaet/aktuelles/2021/08/am-03-schmidt-robert-pandemieund-klimakrise-haben-erstaunliche-gemeinsamkeiten.shtml
29. Schnitzler, L. (2022). Krieg in der Ukraine verursacht massive Umweltschäden [The anthropomorphic image of war in the German and Ukrainian mass media]. www.greenspotting.de. (In Germ.). https://greenspotting.de/natur/krieg-in-derukraine-verursacht-massive-umweltschaeden/
30. Schughart, A. (2021). Nach Corona: Mit neuem Blick auf die Klimakrise [After Corona: With a new look at the climate crisis]. Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland. (In Germ.). https://www.rnd.de/wissen/nach-corona-mitneuem-blick-auf-die-klimakrise-6EIWZWKEGJBP5AMRZ3JAFUOPSY.html
31. Stibbe, A. (2015). Ecolinguistics: Language, Ecology and the Stories We Live By. London: Routledge.
32. Stöcker, C. (2020). Corona- vs. Klimakrise. Zweierlei Maß [Corona vs. climate crisis. Double standards]. Der Spiegel. (In Germ.). https://www.spiegel.de/wissenschaft/mensch/coronavirus-vs-klimakrisezweierlei-mass-aber-warum-a-b22c0a9a-5f58-4a9d-894e-7b1fcb34d9cb
33. Stoneman, E. (2021). Sphere ecology: Peter Sloterdij'ks spatialanalytic approach to media environments, Explorations in Media Ecology, 20 (1), pp. 55-71.
34. Strate, L. (2017). Media Ecology: An Approach to Understanding the Human Condition. New York: Peter Lang Publishing.
35. Waack, J. (2022). Kriegsschäden in der Ukraine: Verbrannte Erde [War Damage in Ukraine: Scorched Earth]. taz.de. (In Germ.). https://taz.de/Kriegsschaeden-in-der-Ukraine/!5839848/
36. Weiland, M. (2020). Exportschlager Umweltgifte [Export hit of the environmental toxins]. Greenpeace.de. (In Germ.). https://www.greenpeace.de/themen/endlager- umwelt/plastikmuell/exportschlager-umweltgifte
37. Weniger ist mehr leben. (2018). Ein wütendes Plädoyer [An angry plea]. Weniger ist mehr leben. (In Germ.). https://wenigeristmehrleben.wordpress.com/ 2018/09/25/bewegen-wir-unseren-arsch-ein-wuetendes-plaedoyer/
How to Cite
Materynska, O. (2022). ENVIRONMENTAL THREATS: MASS-MEDIA COVERAGE OF NEW CHALLENGES IN GERMAN-LANGUAGE MASS MEDIA: DOI: https://doi.org/10.17721/1728-2659.2022.31.06. Bulletin of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. Literary Studies. Linguistics. Folklore Studies, (1(31), 27-33. Retrieved from https://philology-journal.com/index.php/journal/article/view/54