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Local Mass Media Communication and Environmental Disputes: An Analysis of Press Communication on the Designation of the Tuscan Archipelago National Park in Italy

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The role of mass media in the construction of debated environmental issues is discussed, with reference to biodiversity conservation policies. The articles in a local daily newspaper (Il Tirreno) about the designation of the Tuscan Archipelago National Park in Italy have been content analyzed, before and after the park designation. In a quantitative study, two lexical correspondence analyses were conducted, on the titles and bodies of a selection of articles, respectively. A qualitative content analysis of the selected material was also performed to deepen and broaden the quantitative study. Results revealed the salience of a local-regional political conflict in the representation of the park designation, with particular emphasis on the issue of local identity: Local activism appears to function as a territorial defense against external intrusion from a centralized authority. This authority is perceived as limiting the interests and freedom of local communities. The implications of the results are discussed.

Keywords: environmental psychology; mass media; parks and protected areas

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Cultural and Educational Studies—Experimental Psychology Laboratory, University of Roma Tre, Rome, Italy 2: Department of Social and Developmental Psychology, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy

Publication date: August 1, 2009

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