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(Not) saving the Great Barrier Reef from disaster: Media then and now


Foxwell-Norton, K and Lester, L, (Not) saving the Great Barrier Reef from disaster: Media then and now, Communicating Endangered Species: Extinction, News and Public Policy, Routledge, E Freedman, S Shipley Hiles and DB Sachsman (ed), UK, pp. 1-16. ISBN 9781003041955 (2021) [Revised Book Chapter]

DOI: doi:10.4324/9781003041955


The Great Barrier Reef is the most recognizable of the Australian properties on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organizationís (UNESCO) World Heritage List. At the time of its inscription in 1981, the International Union for 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. Successive mass coral bleaching events have led to the premature reporting of the Reefís "death," adding to local and global anxieties about last chances to conserve this doyen of ecological biodiversity. This chapter juxtaposes recent media activism to protect the Reef against the earlier campaign 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:Revised Book Chapter
Keywords:environmental campaigns, communication, politics, environmental movement
Research Division:Language, Communication and Culture
Research Group:Communication and media studies
Research Field:Environmental communication
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Communication
Objective Field:The media
UTAS Author:Lester, L (Professor Libby Lester)
ID Code:144810
Year Published:2021
Deposited By:Media
Deposited On:2021-06-11
Last Modified:2021-07-08

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