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The work of the media in whale strandings
Noël, L. (1997). The work of the media in whale strandings. Bull. Kon. Belg. Inst. Natuurwet. Biologie 67(suppl.): 123-126
In: Bulletin van het Koninklijk Belgisch Instituut voor Natuurwetenschappen. Biologie = Bulletin de l'Institut Royal des Sciences Naturelles de Belgique. Biologie. Koninklijk Belgisch Instituut voor Natuurwetenschappen: Bruxelles. ISSN 0374-6429, more
Peer reviewed article  

Also published as
  • Noël, L. (1997). The work of the media in whale strandings, in: Jacques, G. et al. (Ed.) Potvissterfte in de Noordzee: wetenschap en beheer = Sperm whale deaths in the North Sea: science and management. Bulletin van het Koninklijk Belgisch Instituut voor Natuurwetenschappen. Biologie = Bulletin de l'Institut Royal des Sciences Naturelles de Belgique. Biologie, 67(Suppl.): pp. 123-126, more

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Keywords
    Environment; Environment; Media; Stranding; Marine

Author  Top 
  • Noël, L.

Abstract
    The stranding of sperm whales at the Belgian coast in November 1994 attracted the general attention of the media. Excessive shows of passion often encountered in other parts of the world when cetaceans die, were not observed. An examination of the articles which appeared in the press shows that the event was merely treated as a major, but common news item. Priority was given to the daily developments. The work of the authorities and that of the scientists were given similar status as the anecdotic aspects. The importance given to controversies regarding the management of the situation must be stressed. The media did not go deeply into the biology of sperm whales, the stranding that occurred abroad, or the various hypotheses that were discussed. How could such a superficial approach be explained? Would the content of the press reports have been different if official statements had regularly been released during the operation? The paper goes into the role of journalists, the strategy of interaction with the media during spectacular events, and the attention environmental matters receive in the media.

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