A scholarship of hope: taking stock of UK screen industries via the lens of digital work over digital solutionism

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


In the era of accelerated climate change, there is a growing argument to shift the communicative paradigm from ‘doom and gloom’ to messaging that highlights positive actions. With a critical stance remaining hopefully intact, this chapter explores how that paradigm shift might work when it comes to climate scholarship on the film and television industries. While UK screen industries are currently measuring their own production (and to a lesser extent editorial) effects on the environment, they are never likely to question how much production is necessary. Scholars should therefore highlight best practice in order to inspire further actions. This chapter utilises the work of Marxist scholars working in the digital media research field and systematically applies their concepts to various developments in the UK film and television industries. There are three main arguments. Firstly, that film and television industries can no longer be viewed as separate from digital technologies. Secondly, with that nuance in mind, the established changes and proposed increased digitalisation of film and television industries cannot solely be subjected to a widespread critique of digital solutionism. Thirdly, one way these processes might be better understood is through Fuchs and Sevignani’s (2013) conceptualisation of ‘digital work’, as opposed to the more pejorative ‘digital labour’ as the former term stresses a creative and commons-based engagement with digital technologies. The chapter draws from environmental media studies scholarship as well as industry documentation, employee interviews, and the author’s own experiences of working with sustainable screen industry collaborations in the UK.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFilm and Television Production in the Age of Climate Crisis: Towards a Greener Screen
EditorsPietari Kääpä, Hunter Vaughan
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9783030981204
ISBN (Print)9783030981198
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Publication series

NamePalgrave Studies in Media and Environmental Communication
ISSN (Print)2634-6451
ISSN (Electronic)2634-646X


  • digital labour
  • digital solutionism
  • Albert
  • Star Wars

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Communication
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Linguistics and Language


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