Plastic has transformed our lives but also generated major environmental impacts, persisting in landfill and harming marine wildlife. More and more countries in the world have thus decided to reduce unnecessary plastic usage, especially by phasing out single-use plastic bags. In Australia, most state governments have banned or pledged to ban lightweight plastic bags and the two major retailers, Coles and Woolworths, also announced plans to phase out single-use shopping bags. Nevertheless the chains encountered the customers’ rebellion against the end of the free bag era. Subsequently, Coles decided to surrender to a slower transition to reusable bags by continuing to provide free plastic bags in its stores. This decision, in turn, caused further protests by environmental movements. News media play a central role in offering access to information and shaping public opinion about environmental issues. The evolution of the Internet has significantly affected media discourse. The one-way flow of information from the newspaper to its audience has today given way to interactive news websites. Consumers have reached the active and more powerful role of text producers, as they can now publicly express their comments to online news. The participatory character of the Internet has thus allowed readers both to communicate with dominant media texts and to contribute to shape the readership’s positions. The present paper investigates the recontextualisation of the environmental legal issue of single-use plastic bags ban in news media and user-generated discourse. The study analyses a collection of articles published by the major Australian online news outlets over a two-year period and the comments they generated. The corpus-based critical discourse analysis aims at identifying the way actors and facts are framed in news discourse and user comments. Moreover, considering the high relevance of the issue in the common citizens’ life, the investigation examines the linguistic means used by readers to express distance or proximity towards the newspaper’s views and to support environmentalist or consumerist views.

"Bag for Good? A CDA of News Media and Popular Discourse on Lightweight Plastic Bags Ban in Australia" In Engberg, Jan / Palusci, Oriana (eds), Environmental Conflicts and Legal Disputes Across Media Discourse

A. Napolitano
2018

Abstract

Plastic has transformed our lives but also generated major environmental impacts, persisting in landfill and harming marine wildlife. More and more countries in the world have thus decided to reduce unnecessary plastic usage, especially by phasing out single-use plastic bags. In Australia, most state governments have banned or pledged to ban lightweight plastic bags and the two major retailers, Coles and Woolworths, also announced plans to phase out single-use shopping bags. Nevertheless the chains encountered the customers’ rebellion against the end of the free bag era. Subsequently, Coles decided to surrender to a slower transition to reusable bags by continuing to provide free plastic bags in its stores. This decision, in turn, caused further protests by environmental movements. News media play a central role in offering access to information and shaping public opinion about environmental issues. The evolution of the Internet has significantly affected media discourse. The one-way flow of information from the newspaper to its audience has today given way to interactive news websites. Consumers have reached the active and more powerful role of text producers, as they can now publicly express their comments to online news. The participatory character of the Internet has thus allowed readers both to communicate with dominant media texts and to contribute to shape the readership’s positions. The present paper investigates the recontextualisation of the environmental legal issue of single-use plastic bags ban in news media and user-generated discourse. The study analyses a collection of articles published by the major Australian online news outlets over a two-year period and the comments they generated. The corpus-based critical discourse analysis aims at identifying the way actors and facts are framed in news discourse and user comments. Moreover, considering the high relevance of the issue in the common citizens’ life, the investigation examines the linguistic means used by readers to express distance or proximity towards the newspaper’s views and to support environmentalist or consumerist views.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11574/205958
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