Framing in a contested space: media reporting on tourism and mining in Australia

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McLennan, CJ, Becken, S & Moyle, BD 2014, 'Framing in a contested space: media reporting on tourism and mining in Australia', Current Issues in Tourism.

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The last decade has seen Australia's economy undertake a significant transformation, with a rapid resurgence in mining. The high exchange rate that has arisen as a consequence of this boom has resulted in a number of other Australian industries becoming less competitive, leading to a two-speed economy. For the tourism industry, the result has been declining visitation, with some commentators attributing this decline directly to the mining boom. This paper explores how the media frames tourism- and mining-related issues regarding the current mining boom in Australia by undertaking a content analysis of 265 online newspaper articles relating to tourism and mining in Australia. The impact of mining on the tourism sector was frequently identified as a key issue, with the rapid expansion of mining increasing competition for labour, resources and infrastructure, as well as having the propensity to destroy certain tourism products. Journalistic techniques, such as hedging, were found to be prevalent in the media reporting, potentially leading to confusion surrounding key issues relating to tourism and mining in the public forum. Future research should seek to explore strategies that could be used by government and businesses to build sustainable, resilient regions through tourism and mining.

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