Broadcasting for the love of nature – a Valentine’s thought


c Kev Chapman – Nightingale

In his book The Wonderbox, Roman Krznaric reminds us of the six kinds of love identified by the ancient Greeks: Eros; Plilia; Ludas; Agape; Pragma and Philautia. (

A seventh kind of love seems to inspire wildlife and natural history broadcasters – the love of nature. I am not sure if the ancient Greeks have a word for this, but we do know that nature deities such as Dryads (tree and forest nymphs) and Demeter (goddess of the harvest, the fertility of the earth, grains and the seasons) populated Greek mythology. These nature loving broadcasters have been telling us how they hope to inspire their viewers:

you make audiences fall in love with their environment and really start to inspire them at a very emotional level

[I want] to just make people love, adore and be in awe of the natural world … and you could argue that’s the biggest thing we need to do now, with the population of the world that is becoming more and more urban, more and more virtual and more and more disconnected from quite literally the joy of being outside.”

The Song of the Nightingale
Broadcasters have been nudging us, moving us, transforming with their own kind of Cupid’s arrow from the start. As David Herkt tells us, the first live to radio broadcast in 1924 was the song of the nightingale, as organised by Beatrice Harrison. The broadcast attracted some 1 million listeners, recordings for sale, fan mail, and visits to her garden to hear the nightingales sing

Since the fifties, David Attenborough has been inspiring generation after generation of nature lovers, and those who go on to become broadcasters and film makers themselves continue to spread the love of nature today.

While we may need a sharper broadcasting picture on the ecological problems we face today, there is room too to continue this call to the wild

Happy Valentine’s Day

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