University Of Tasmania
Tranter conf paper searching for wilderness.pdf (254.53 kB)
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Searching for 'wilderness': environmental protests in The Mercury and The Age

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conference contribution
posted on 2023-05-23, 06:58 authored by Bruce TranterBruce Tranter
'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.


Publication title

Emerging and Enduring Inequalities - The 2012 Annual Conference of the Australian Sociological Association


L Cheshire and A Broom






School of Social Sciences


The Australian Sociological Association

Place of publication

Brisbane, Queensland

Event title

2012 Annual Conference of the Australian Sociological Association

Event Venue

Brisbane, Queensland

Date of Event (Start Date)


Date of Event (End Date)


Rights statement

Copyright 2012 The Australian Sociological Association

Repository Status

  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Other environmental management not elsewhere classified

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