This  paper  offers  an  analysis  of  British  newspaper  coverage  of  environmental  issues  controversy. Drawing  on  a  constructionist  framework,  it  examines  the  claims-making  processes  at  play  in  the elevation and development of environmental issues as social problems.

The  principal  claims-making  strategies  pursued  by  the  main  players  involved  (i.e.  environmental pressure  groups,  scientists  and  experts,  politicians,  industry  and  business)  are  examined,  as  are  the inflection and framing of both key actors and their claims in the main national newspapers.

The paper discusses how science, risk assessment, and appeals to moral, ethical and economic values, are  used  by  key  claims-makers  to  inform  and  influence  public  debate,  and  it  examines  the  rhetorical strategies  deployed  to  secure  or  contest  the  credibility  and  legitimacy  of  different  players  and  their ‘case’.

The  success  or  otherwise  of  key  claims-makers  -  environmental  pressure  groups  in  particular  -  and their  communication strategies are  assessed  in  the  light  of  models of  primary and  secondary definition, framing, and social problems theory.
 

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Claims-making and framing in British newspaper coverage of environmental controversy

Anders Hansen   University of Leicester, Centre for Mass Communication Research

This  paper  offers  an  analysis  of  British  newspaper  coverage  of  environmental  issues  controversy. Drawing  on  a  constructionist  framework,  it  examines  the  claims-making  processes  at  play  in  the elevation and development of environmental issues as social problems.

The  principal  claims-making  strategies  pursued  by  the  main  players  involved  (i.e.  environmental pressure  groups,  scientists  and  experts,  politicians,  industry  and  business)  are  examined,  as  are  the inflection and framing of both key actors and their claims in the main national newspapers.

The paper discusses how science, risk assessment, and appeals to moral, ethical and economic values, are  used  by  key  claims-makers  to  inform  and  influence  public  debate,  and  it  examines  the  rhetorical strategies  deployed  to  secure  or  contest  the  credibility  and  legitimacy  of  different  players  and  their ‘case’.

The  success  or  otherwise  of  key  claims-makers  -  environmental  pressure  groups  in  particular  -  and their  communication strategies are  assessed  in  the  light  of  models of  primary and  secondary definition, framing, and social problems theory.
 

A copy of the full paper has not yet been submitted.

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