Ruralness, development and democracy: media, myths and the creation of meaning at Lake Cowal, New South Wales

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14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The media play a vital role in translating new events adn experiences into the textual forms that are communicated to the public. As a result, media narratives have become sites of contestation with opposing groups attempting to frame them in a way that suits their political purposes. When a gold mining proposal to be based at Lake Cowal was rejected by the NSW government for 'environmental reasons', the reaction of newspapers circulated in townships near the proposed mine site was analysed for the month following the announcement. A pro-mining regional hegemony dominated the newspaper texts and drew on three powerful myths prevalent in Australian rural society: 'the rural identity', 'the glory of development', and 'the duties of democracy'. The pro-mining groups use these myths to make their interests appear the same as community interests in an effort to silence opposing views and obtain total community support. The manner in which powerful members of the pro-mining group were permitted to use the newspapers for their own ends brings forth questions of power and objectivity in the media of contemporary society.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-203
Number of pages13
JournalAustralian Geographer
Volume29
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1998
Externally publishedYes

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