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The Great Barrier Reef: News media, policy and the politics of protection


Foxwell-Norton, K and Konkes, C, The Great Barrier Reef: News media, policy and the politics of protection, International Communication Gazette, 81, (3) pp. 211-234. ISSN 1748-0485 (2019) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2018 The Authors

DOI: doi:10.1177/1748048518767800


Since the 1970s, the Reef has been a site where Australian environmental policy has flourished, mirroring global environmental policy seeking to ‘balance’ human activity through ‘ecologically sustainable development’. The article examines the parallel and intersecting processes of modern environmental policy and news media practice in the context of the Reef to unveil how Australia’s news media are communicating critical moments in the protection of the Reef. Through two key conservation moments – the 1981 World Heritage Listing and the 2012 threat to place the Reef on the List of World Heritage in Danger – the article examines the role of news media in different geographic contexts, highlighting the complex politics of protection from early conservation campaigns to the contemporary era of protecting the Reef in the context of global environmental crisis. We identify how ecologically sustainable development discourses can be used to communicate positions that challenge and discredit policy initiatives aimed at protecting natural environments.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:ecologically sustainable development, ESD, environmental communication, environmental conflict, Great Barrier Reef, media, policy, 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:Konkes, C (Dr Claire Konkes)
ID Code:125547
Year Published:2019 (online first 2018)
Web of Science® Times Cited:13
Deposited By:Office of the School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2018-04-23
Last Modified:2021-11-09

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