“Keep it Wild, Keep it Local”: Comparing News Media and the Internet as Sites for Environmental Movement Activism for Jumbo Pass, British Columbia

Mark CJ Stoddart, Laura MacDonald

Abstract


Environmental movements depend on mass media to reach the public and shape political decision-making. Without media access, social movements experience political marginality. In this paper, we examine whether the internet is a more open space than traditional media for activists to speak on behalf of non-human nature. Our analysis is based upon newspaper coverage and environmental organization websites that focus on the conflict over the proposed Jumbo Glacier Resort ski resort development in British Columbia. Environmental websites and mass media texts both define Jumbo Pass as wilderness and grizzly bear habitat, while focusing on ecological issues and questions of local democracy. However, environmental group websites discuss a greater range of environmental risks and provide more detailed discussion of these issues. Environmentalist websites also integrate scientific experts and celebrity supporters to a greater degree than mass media texts, which are dominated by environmentalist, ski industry, and provincial government news sources.

Keywords


environmentalism; mass media; computer-mediated communication; sport, recreation and tourism; British Columbia; social movements

Full Text:

PDF