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Environmental Conflict and the Media


Edited By Libby Lester and Brett Hutchins

Has the hype associated with the «revolutionary» potential of the World Wide Web and digital media for environmental activism been muted by the past two decades of lived experience? What are the empirical realities of the prevailing media landscape?
Using a range of related disciplinary perspectives, the contributors to this book analyze and explain the complicated relationship between environmental conflict and the media. They shine light on why media are central to historical and contemporary conceptions of power and politics in the context of local, national and global issues and outline the emerging mixture of innovation and reliance on established strategies in environmental campaigns.
With cases drawn from different sections of the globe – Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States, Europe, Latin America, China, Japan, the Pacific Islands, Africa – the book demonstrates how conflicts emanate from and flow across multiple sites, regions and media platforms and examines the role of the media in helping to structure collective discussion, debate and decision-making.
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10 Dodgy Science or Global Necessity? Local Media Reporting of Marine Parks: Michelle Voyer, Tanja Dreher, William Gladstone and Heather Goodall


The digital age and globalization has brought international issues to our doorstep and placed the local in the context of the global. News media have played a crucial role in allowing recognition and exploration of the global origins and outcomes of many environmental crises such as climate change, deforestation, threatened species management and biodiversity loss (Cottle, 2011c). The modern environmental movement has responded to the global scale of these crises with campaigns for global solutions. Many of these campaigns rely heavily on coordinated, collective action across a multitude of jurisdictions around the world, with the success of global campaigns dependent on the success of multiple local-scale actions. The slogan “think global, act local” has become the rallying cry of the modern environmental movement. Yet the individual success of these actions depends significantly on local conditions, particularly community and political support. The media, including local news and community-based media, play a crucial role in influencing both these factors. ← 153 | 154 →

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)1 are one example of a highly contested conservation goal that is being vigorously pursued on a global scale but meeting significant resistance at the local level (e.g., Banks and Skilleter, 2010; Carneiro, 2011; Weible, 2008; Wescott, 2006). In response to large-scale loss of marine biodiversity and the collapse of a number of fisheries, a range of international agreements have been developed which commit signatories to developing a system of MPAs covering between 10 and 30 percent of their marine habitats by 2012 (Spalding et...

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