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Soft journalism, politics and environmental risk: An Australian story


Lester, L and Hutchins, B, Soft journalism, politics and environmental risk: An Australian story, Journalism, 13, (5) pp. 654-6657. ISSN 1741-3001 (2012) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2011 SAGE

DOI: doi:10.1177/1464884911421706


Complex environmental science issues are regularly reported by the news media in highly personalized and symbolic terms in order to make the consequences of environmental degradation and risk comprehensible to the public. This article presents a case study showing how the tension between political statements, human-interest narratives and scientific credibility in this style of reporting can undercut citizen-led claims about environmental risk factors. This tension creates discursive openings that government and industry use to deny the existence of these factors or contest their consequences. The evidence presented in support of this argument relates to episodes of Australian Story, a popular �soft journalism� programme, shown on the national public service broadcaster during the 2010 Tasmanian state election campaign. The timing and content of this programme produced extensive debate across multiple mediums about environmental risks, providing insight into the relationship between politics, journalism and the contested status of environmental science knowledge claims in the news

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
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:73841
Year Published:2012 (online first 2011)
Web of Science® Times Cited:12
Deposited By:English, Journalism and European Languages
Deposited On:2011-10-26
Last Modified:2018-03-13
Downloads:4 View Download Statistics

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