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Saving the Great Barrier Reef from disaster, media then and now


Foxwell-Norton, K and Lester, L, Saving the Great Barrier Reef from disaster, media then and now, Media Culture and Society, 39, (4) pp. 568-581. ISSN 0163-4437 (2017) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2017 Sage Publications

DOI: doi:10.1177/0163443717692738


The Great Barrier Reef is the most recognizable of the Australian properties on United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) World Heritage List. At the time of its inscription in 1981, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature noted that ‘… if only one coral reef site in the world were to be chosen for the World Heritage List, the Great Barrier Reef is the site to be chosen’. The listing followed the ‘Save the Reef’ campaign, which ran through the 1960s and 1970s and highlighted threats from rapid industrialization and a nation riding a resources boom. Nevertheless, in recent years, the Reef has teetered on being named a ‘World Heritage Site in Danger’, with similar economic conditions driving its deterioration. This article juxtaposes recent media activism to protect the Reef against the earlier campaign in order to compare and better understand how these campaigns engaged publics and policy makers by representing and communicating threats, and concludes by considering their capacity to influence long-term conservation policy.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:environmental communication, environmental protest, Fight for the Reef, Great Barrier Reef, media, world heritage
Research Division:Language, Communication and Culture
Research Group:Communication and media studies
Research Field:Media studies
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Communication
Objective Field:The media
UTAS Author:Lester, L (Professor Libby Lester)
ID Code:114597
Year Published:2017
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (DP150103454)
Web of Science® Times Cited:17
Deposited By:Office of the School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2017-02-21
Last Modified:2021-04-12
Downloads:42 View Download Statistics

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