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Big Tree, small news: Media access, symbolic power and strategic intervention


Lester, EA, Big Tree, small news: Media access, symbolic power and strategic intervention, Journalism: Theory, Practice and Criticism, 11, (5) pp. 589-606. ISSN 1464-8849 (2010) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2010 The Author(s)

DOI: doi:10.1177/1464884910373537


The death of El Grande - Australia's biggest tree and the world's largest flowering plant and hardwood tree - created a powerful symbol for environmentalists challenging the destruction of native forests across Tasmania, but only outside Tasmania. In local media, the reporting of the tree's fate remained contained and isolated from the broader environmental conflict. Using El Grande's discovery, burning and death as a critical case study and drawing on a range of media texts and interviews with journalists, environmentalists and public relations practitioners, this article analyses the complex dynamics operating at the interface of symbolic power and news production, particularly in terms of the contest for media access and visibility by both elite and non-elite sources; the nature and successes of strategic interventions by competing sources and media themselves to enhance or limit this power; and how these various dynamics function over time.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:El Grande, environmental communications, news media access, political conflict, source strategy, symbolic power, Tasmania
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, EA (Professor Libby Lester)
ID Code:65849
Year Published:2010
Deposited By:English, Journalism and European Languages
Deposited On:2010-12-06
Last Modified:2013-03-18
Downloads:5 View Download Statistics

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