Off-shore oil exploration in the Arctic Ocean a comparative analysis of newspaper information and public attitude Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/st74cv75v

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  • This research questions the effectiveness of newspapers as a vehicle of environmental information by determining whether the public attitude in Alaska towards off-shore oil exploration was consistent with that expressed in the local newspapers. All newspaper articles about off-shore oil exploration published in Alaska between 1980 and May 1987 were examined for content (pro-environment, pro-economy or neutral) and readability level. Two surveys of samples of Alaska residents were conducted in 1985 and 1987 to determine public knowledge and attitude towards off-shore oil exploration. Comparison of the content analysis with the public attitude surveys showed important and consistent differences. In 1985 the newspaper articles were stressing environmental concerns while the public's attitude was pro-economy. The newspaper articles gradually became more pro-economy oriented by 1987, while during the period surveyed the public shifted to a pro-environment attitude. The differences between attitudes members of the public and newspaper perspective could not be attributed to the readability level of the newspapers. The notion that newspapers are an effective means of communicating environmental information was not valid for Alaskan newspapers between 1980 and 1987.
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