Title page for ETD etd-11112009-230423

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Harang, Paul
Author's Email Address paulharang@gmail.com
URN etd-11112009-230423
Title Why Is It Washing Away? Advocacy Groups and the Framing of Louisiana's Coastal Wetlands Loss in Local Newspapers
Degree Master of Mass Communication (M.M.C.)
Department Mass Communication
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Mann, Jr., Robert Townley Committee Chair
Goidel, Robert Kirby Committee Member
Osborne, Anne Cunningham Committee Member
  • greenwashing
  • coastal erosion
  • wetlands
  • advocacy groups
  • newspaper frames
  • framing
Date of Defense 2009-10-28
Availability unrestricted
Louisiana’s coastal wetlands provide a habitat for diverse wildlife, recreational opportunities for Louisiana residents and tourists, and an important natural buffer between communities and powerful hurricanes. Because they are disappearing at a rapid rate, coastal wetlands issues have been prominent in south Louisiana for decades. The catastrophic hurricanes of 2005 and 2008 have given the discussion an increased sense of urgency.

Through this paper, I explore coverage of wetlands loss in local south Louisiana daily newspapers. Specifically, I try to determine how these papers frame the issue and illuminate how sources present in these stories participate in the construction of those frames. I then discuss the advocacy group America’s WETLAND’s role as a newspaper source, how the group developed and maintains its message, and the relationship between that message and the group’s sponsors. Finally, I interview journalists who cover the issue for newspapers in south Louisiana and the managing director of America’s WETLAND.

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