Numbers > Number 16 > Education for Sustainable Development: a study on the dissemination and contextualization of education in the written press in Spain: El Mundo, ABC and La Vanguardia
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ISSN: 1885-365X

Education for Sustainable Development: a study on the dissemination and contextualization of education in the written press in Spain: El Mundo, ABC and La Vanguardia

28 de noviembre de 2019
10 de diciembre de 2019


The United Nations Organization (UN) to continue the development agenda after the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) launches a global appeal: the Sustainable Development Goals (2015-2030) (SDG). Of the 17 objectives and 169 goals proposed, in addition to the new challenges on climate change, economic inequality, innovation, sustainable consumption, peace and justice, education is still considered a priority. Guaranteeing inclusive, equitable and quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all (Objective 4 of the SDGs), is planned as a challenge of great social impact and with a clear humanistic and moral perspective, in which We must all be involved. This study has focused on knowing the influence of the media on the enhancement and dissemination of its scope. For this, an analysis has been carried out on the headlines of three of the main written and digital media in Spain: El Mundo, ABC and La Vanguardia). The main objective has been to know how many times reference has been made to education for sustainable development in 2019 and in what context, considering the importance of the media when it comes to humanizing data and empathizing with readers to please achieve the goals of an agenda that is currently positioned as the modern materialization of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.


1. Introduction

In 1948 the United Nations General Assembly adopts in its resolution 217 A (III), the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In it, he recognized for the first time in history the right to education as well as accepted the right to receive information and opinions. It is at that moment where journalism and education come together, where both must be complementary and help each other to achieve their goals.

Decontextualization and superficiality are characteristic aspects of the current media treatment (Alfaro, 2013). The media and the digital press are the main source of information for society. For this reason, they play a very important role in understanding the world, as Curran (2005) affirms. It is considered necessary to do a study on how the media communicate the Sustainable Development Goals (hereinafter SDGs) and specifically, Education for Sustainable Development, which in the 2030 Agenda is goal 4.7.

The SDGs offer a universal dialogue that is based on people, prosperity, the situation of the planet, as well as citizen participation and peace. Federico Buyolo, Director General of the Office of the High Commissioner for the 2030 Agenda, acknowledges in a personal interview that the SDGs “are known only to 10% of the population and although they have sometimes heard the name or reference, they do not know what it is the role of individuals, organizations, companies and the government in this challenge »(Buyolo, 2019). For this reason, the present study refers to the media as a key piece for its dissemination.

Fazio (1997) has already referred to the media as an instrument of power to serve economic and political interests rather than dignity. McQuail (1983), in his interest in informing the public about mass communication, refers to the fact that the media, with its great reach and impact, can bring events closer together and bring people together to campaign for social objectives. . In this context, the 2030 Agenda is postulated as an ideal framework to make this proposal a reality. However, it is specialized journalism understood as a rigorous, long-term task, where social responsibility prevails, who must deepen the objectives and bring them closer to the public (Camacho Markina, 2010).

The 17 objectives and 169 goals described in the Agenda for 2030, in which 193 UN member states (2015b) have been involved, include all sectors of society, and journalism as part of it. The main objective is to lead your role in this global initiative to ensure that no one is left behind. For this reason, this study is configured as an appeal to the responsibility of the media in the dissemination and enhancement of this global challenge.

An example of this type of analysis and studies is the Measuring peace in the media of the Institute for Economics and Peace of 2010 (Espinar Ruiz and Hernández Sánchez, 2012) where reference is made to the interest of the media in violence against peace. In the same way, the analysis carried out aims to determine the diffusion of the media on Education for Sustainable Development.

The SDGs are the continuation and improvement of the Millennium Development Goals. For the current proposal, the United Nations created a process to prepare the new agenda that was called the post-2015 agenda. The creation of the SDGs, therefore, began in 2012 with different government processes and participatory consultations, among other things, to achieve greater involvement of citizens and gathering opinions on what the SDGs had to incorporate (Sanahuja, 2016). Within this framework, the global survey My world 2015 (UN, 2015a) stands out, since, as Wiseman and Davidson (2018) affirm, the item “good education” is the one that aroused the most interest to develop in future objectives; that is why education in the Agenda plays a key role, since it is a key axis for the fulfillment of other objectives.

Currently, as we can extract from the Incheon Declaration (Unesco, 2016) and the Framework for Action to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 4 (Unesco, 2017), it is clear that the educational process extends throughout the entire life, offering people capacities to think and feel. Likewise, it is also evident that the media are mediating and responsible agents that contribute to the education of minors (Marta Lazo, 2005). Based on this, the fundamental pillar of this study has been raised on the influence of the media in the acquisition of the concept of education and in the promotion of the SDGs.

In this research, the main objective has been to carry out an assessment of the dissemination and contextualization of Education for Sustainable Development in the written press. The goal is to know how the exposed subject is treated, and for this, an analysis of three national newspapers of reference in Spain during the year 2019: ABC, El Mundo and La Vanguardia has been carried out. The period that has been analyzed is from January 1, 2019 to November 1, 2019; This stage has been selected because it is the most current. In Spain in the last four years, many advances have been made as can be read in the report The role of the Spanish Global Compact Network (UN, 2019).

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