Taking Action ... Tearfund vs extravagant carbon habits

Protesters: Tearfund Target: 'Extravagant' carbon habits Location: Nationwide Date: 17 February (Ash Wednesday)

Bishops back Tearfund campaign
Bishops back Tearfund campaign


The lowdown

Tearfund, a Christian development charity, used the start of Lent to protest against the public's extravagant carbon habits. It garnered support from senior bishops, including the Bishop of London, to urge the public to give up carbon for Lent by following a series of daily actions. These included a day without an iPod or mobile phone, becoming a part-time vegetarian and turning off lights.

Why the protest?

The charity wants to draw attention to the impact that climate change is having on the poorest people in the world.

What was the media strategy?

The charity sent the story to environment and religious correspondents, as well as Christian media. It also used Twitter and Facebook to provoke debate. It put together a list of quirky daily actions to appeal to the media.

How did the media cover it?

The Daily Telegraph was the first national news outlet to cover the story. It was then picked up in the newspaper review on BBC Radio 4's Today programme. It was mentioned again on the station's Thought For The Day slot, as well as in The Guardian, The Metro, The Irish Times, Reuters and Fox News in the US. Many of the news outlets used the 'sacrifice your iPod for Lent' angle as a way into the story. Technology-focused sites also covered the story because of this angle.

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