In The Media Ecosystem, Antonio Lopez draws together the seemingly disparate realms of ecology and media studies to present a fresh and provocative interpretation of the current state of the mass media—and its potential future. Lopez explores the connections between media and the environment, arguing that just as the world's powers have seized and exploited the physical territories and natural resources of the earth, so, too, have they colonized the "cultural commons"—the space of ideas that everyone shares. He identifies the root of the problem in the privileging of "mechanistic" thinking over ecological intelligence, which recognizes that people live in a relationship with every other living thing on the planet.
In order to create a more sustainable media ecosystem—just like the preservation of organic ecosystems—we must reconnect our daily media activities to their impact on others and the environment. To become "organic media practitioners," we must become aware of the impact of media use on the environment; recognize media's influence on our perception of time, space, and place; understand media's interdependence with the global economy; be conscious of media's interaction with cultural beliefs; and develop an ethical framework in order to act upon these understandings. Above all, Lopez calls for media producers and consumers alike to bring a sense of ritual and collaboration back to the process of communication, utilizing collective intelligence and supporting a new culture of participation. Containing both wide-reaching analysis and practical tips for more conscious media use, The Media Ecosystem is designed for all those who seek a more sustainable future.