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By Allan Adam Carter Staff

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Considers the strain among leisure and knowledge in media insurance of environmental isseues.

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Considers the strain among leisure and data in media insurance of environmental isseues

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Evidently, then, the ways in which the news media map or, more specifically, ‘frame’ certain preferred discourses of environmental risk raise significant questions about access to public debate. Mark Miller and Bonnie Parnell Riechert’s ‘Interest group strategies and journalistic norms: news media framing of environmental issues’ (Chapter 2) extends this discussion by engaging with competing conceptions of the role the news media play in policy formation on environmental issues. Journalists, they argue, not only provide information to the public, but also serve as a conduit between stakeholder groups and policy-makers.

It brings together the work of researchers actively exploring the dynamics by which environmental risks, threats and hazards are represented, transformed and contested across the discursive field of the mass media. Such an agenda necessarily entails the adoption of an Introduction 17 extended definition of what constitutes ‘the environment’ in order to embrace the lived, embodied experience of risk perception as it is inflected in and through the media discourses circulating in societies like those in Europe and North America.

These past months have been, and continue to be, a living nightmare for my family. We have been unable to come to terms with Peter’s death because we know that if BSE had been treated with sufficient caution he and many others would not have suffered this terrible illness. (BBC2 Newsnight 20 June 1996) The words spoken present an anguished plea and articulate challenge to the government Health Secretary of the day, Stephen Dorrell MP, requesting both information about and an acceptance of responsibility for the (mis)management of the BSE crisis in the UK, and her son’s death.

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