chapter  28
10 Pages

Environmental journalism in Australia and New Zealand

WithMaxine Newlands

“Media ownership heavily influences environmental reporting in Australia,” writes the author of this chapter, who is an Australian environmental journalist turned university senior lecturer. “The political allegiances of the [center-left] Nine network (Australia’s highest-rated television network) and [center-right] News Corp (which owns about 142 newspapers) significantly affect whether an environmental story will run.” Thus Australia, like other nations with Rupert Murdoch-owned media, has its fair share of climate change deniers. Nonetheless, environmental journalism has been taken seriously since the 1980s, although “environmental copy generally is joined with the science and health beats.” The media landscape of New Zealand is somewhat different since Nine is the dominant owner and News Corp has little influence. “This may go some way to explaining why there is more focus on climate change solutions and less column inches for climate skeptics in the New Zealand media.” With a government and a press that recognizes the need for climate policy, “New Zealand may be more prepared to deal with the realities of the future than its colonial cousin over the ditch.”