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Environmental Protest and Tap-dancing with the Media in the Information Age


Hutchins, B and Lester, EA, Environmental Protest and Tap-dancing with the Media in the Information Age, Media, Culture and Society, 28, (3) pp. 433-451. ISSN 0163-4437 (2006) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2006 SAGE Publishers. Definitive version is available online

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DOI: doi:10.1177/0163443706062911


Environmental politics and values gain legitimacy through their constant presence in the media. This article outlines and critiques a theoretical approach that can increase understanding of the relationship between environmental protest and news media representation. Manuel Castells, pre-eminent theorist of the information age and 'the network society', is useful in this regard. He describes the relationship between media organizations and environmentalists as 'tap-dancing'. His explanation of this dance and its choreography, however, is overly general, ignoring its specific features and workings in terms of representation. In order to detail some of these features, we have selected for study Australia's most famous environmental protest and a globally significant moment for green politics: the 1982 Franklin Dam blockade in Tasmania. We argue that it was during this blockade that an enduring pattern of media environmentalist relations was established in Australia, and substantiate this case by examining subsequent protests. The article concludes by critiquing current understandings of media environmentalist relations and explains the dynamics of the mediation process that determines the reporting of protests

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Language, Communication and Culture
Research Group:Communication and media studies
Research Field:Communication and media studies not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Communication
Objective Field:The media
UTAS Author:Lester, EA (Professor Libby Lester)
ID Code:39661
Year Published:2006
Web of Science® Times Cited:51
Deposited By:English, Journalism and European Languages
Deposited On:2006-08-01
Last Modified:2009-07-27
Downloads:10 View Download Statistics

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