The Great Bear Media Battle: How the Forest was Finally Won

Gemma Richardson (gemma.richardson1@gmail.com)
Communication Studies, University of Windsor
January, 2009
 

Abstract

This thesis explores the struggle for environmental protection in the Great Bear Rainforest in British Columbia and how this decade-long battle was covered in the media. It also seeks to add to the discussion on how social movements can utilize the power of the mass media. First, literature on social movements and the media is reviewed within the contextual framework of political economy, as well as literature on Greenpeace and its media tactics, a key actor in the forest battle. A critical discourse analysis was then carried out on a sample of articles from the Globe and Mail and the Vancouver Sun from 1995 to 2007 that explicitly used the term Great Bear Rainforest. The analysis revealed that the coverage matched the expectations set out by McLeod and Hertog’s protest paradigm, in that the environmentalists were portrayed in marginalizing frames until an agreement was reached on the Great Bear Rainforest.
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We wish to acknowledge the financial support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council for their financial support through theAid to Scholarly Journals Program.

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