The social construction of the wolf : a case study of news media’s role in sustainability wildlife conservation in regards to the wolf in Sweden

University essay from Lunds universitet/LUCSUS

Abstract: The wolf has been considered functionally and genetically extinct in Sweden for a hundred years, but since the 1970’s there has been a gradual revival of the species. This reintroduction of the wolf into the Swedish society has been teemed with great tensions and bad sentiments. This research takes the normative position that news media has a responsibility in communicating the complexities associated with socio-ecological systems and promote dialogue that strife towards mutual understanding and convergence in order to promote sustainable wildlife conservation. Furthermore, in order to emphasise the social construction of knowledge this research also argues that journalists should practice self-reflexivity, instead of only relying on the representation of different stakeholders when attempting to provide with objective information. By looking at newspaper articles and conducting interviews with journalists this research came to the conclusion that the coverage of the wolf is teemed with polarizing language, anthropocentric framing, and political/ managerial discourses that provides with a simplistic account for sustainable wildlife conservation.

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