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Searching for 'wilderness': environmental protests in The Mercury and The Age


Tranter, B, Searching for 'wilderness': environmental protests in The Mercury and The Age, Emerging and Enduring Inequalities - The 2012 Annual Conference of the Australian Sociological Association, 26-29 November 2012, Brisbane, Queensland, pp. 1-12. ISBN 978-0-646-58783-7 (2012) [Refereed Conference Paper]


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'Wilderness' is a highly contested concept but one that has been used effectively by environmentalists to frame environmental issues and valorise wild places, particularly the wild rivers, lakes and old growth forests of Tasmania. Content analyses of articles sampled from The Mercury and The Age suggest substantial variation in the reporting of 'wilderness' between the two newspapers. In the Tasmanian Mercury 'wilderness' is only weakly associated with coverage of environmental campaigns in areas environmentalists claim to be wild places, but is more strongly associated with environmental campaigns in The Age. Over a similar period, the phrase 'forest protest' also emerges as a distinctive frame. Yet while 'forest protests' occurs more frequently in The Mercury than The Age over time, it is only associated with 'wilderness' in The Age. The findings suggest that while differences in the tone of 'wilderness' articles in the two newspapers may have softened since the Franklin campaign of 1982-83, when it comes to framing and reporting 'wilderness', substantial differences remain between the two papers.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Conference Paper
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Sociology
Research Field:Environmental sociology
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Other environmental management
Objective Field:Other environmental management not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Tranter, B (Professor Bruce Tranter)
ID Code:80076
Year Published:2012
Deposited By:Sociology and Social Work
Deposited On:2012-10-22
Last Modified:2017-11-30
Downloads:215 View Download Statistics

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