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Commitment to Continuous Quality/Process Improvement

Sustainability themes are receiving increasing internet coverage on the basis of a new grassroots movement among well informed citizens, primarily in developed countries but also globally. In the print media, the period following 2006/07 has seen a boom in the development of special interest popular magazines addressing sustainability issues. In television, sustainability topics are beginning to be touched upon in many public programs that viewer statistics show are reaching the highest educated demographic, the ‘information elite’. The phenomenon of increasing coverage of sustainability topics is not universal to all media and major challenges remain in increasing the coverage of sustainability topics in the mainstream commercial media. To overcome these challenges, innovative ideas and new creative solutions are required to both create new formats and use existing formats more effectively in bringing sustainability topics to a broader audience. Firstly, a greater diversity of media formats is needed to continue to reach the ‘information-elite’. Secondly and more importantly, there is a necessity for new incentives for mainstream media users to engage with sustainability topics when consuming media. Mainstream media users are of particular interest given that they often belong to mid to lower socio-economic groups and tend to have a preference for receiving information in an emotionally-oriented manner (Lubjuhn/Pratt 2009). They are inclined to receive information through stories that offer practical everyday information such as through depictions in docu-soaps, soap operas, reality programs or infotainment formats. The sociovision institute, a leading sociological research organisation, has identified five separate mainstream milieus in society on the basis of extensive data, personal interviews on norms and beliefs, and an analysis of household effects during home visits. The identified groups have been termed as the consumer-materialists, traditionalists, civic middle-class, hedonists and experimentalists.