This article critically revisits the operation of ‘mediated visibility’ in the context of
environmental conflict. Challenger groups have long gained access to news media
and influenced political decision-makers by staging highly visible protest events that
draw public attention to environmental threats and destruction. The advent of the
world-wide web and digital media tools has since added to the tactical arsenal
available to groups wanting to infiltrate and disrupt government and corporate
networks of power. In turn, governments and corporations deploy these same
tools to maintain their reputation and check opponents who oppose their activities.
These developments have, we argue, produced a significant flow-on effect. The
function of invisibility – or the coordinated avoidance of media communication,
attention and respresentation in order to achieve political and/or social ends –
is an under-examined feature of contemporary environmental politics. The case
study and evidence presented here are drawn from fieldwork conducted in the
Australian island state of Tasmania, and extensive content analysis of news media,
social networking platforms and websites.
activism, conflict, forestry industry, media and environment, mediated visibility, protest, symbolic power, Tasmania