A Qualitative Thematic Analysis of 2016 Australian Media Reports on Climate Change on the Great Barrier Reef

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractResearch


In 2016, the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) was affected by a strong El Nino weather pattern as well as continued damage from human-induced climate change and pollution. During this year, the Reef suffered its sixth mass coral bleaching event (Australian Institute of Marine Science, 2016), which was the most damaging on record (Reichelt, 2016). This last event led to the death of 22 percent of the coral … within the 3000 reefs of which the GBR is composed (Reichelt, 2016). Also during this year, the Australian federal government held an election in which climate change action including care for the Reef was a major issue. Given this situation, it is useful to consider how the Australian media represented climate change on the Reef. Media provide an important source of information on social issues (Cabecinhas, Lazaro, & Carvalho, 2008) and may shape public understanding of what is happening on the Reef. How Australia and the rest of the world react to the situation on the Reef is a social issue. This paper therefore uses Social Representations Theory (SRT) to provide a qualitative thematic analysis of Australian media reports on the Reef in 2016. The author has found no prior research that focuses specifically on media reports about this issue. At this stage, the research is preliminary and exploratory.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 25 May 2017
EventICA 2017 Pre-Conference: Strategic Environmental Communication and Exploration of Research in Crisis, Risk and Disaster - San Diego Hilton, San Diego, United States
Duration: 25 May 201725 May 2017


ConferenceICA 2017 Pre-Conference
Abbreviated titleICA
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego
Internet address


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