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Calm the farm or incite a riot? Animal activists and the news media: A public relations case study in agenda-setting and framing

Williams, D.K., Archer, C.J. and O’Mahony, L. (2021) Calm the farm or incite a riot? Animal activists and the news media: A public relations case study in agenda-setting and framing. Public Relations Inquiry . Online First.

Link to Published Version: https://doi.org/10.1177/2046147X211055192
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Abstract

The ideological differences between animal activists and primary producers are long-standing, existing long before the advent of social media with its widespread communicative capabilities. Primary producers have continued to rely on traditional media channels to promote their products. In contrast, animal activists have increasingly adopted livestreaming on social media platforms and ‘direct action’ protest tactics to garner widespread public and media attention while promoting vegetarianism/veganism, highlighting issues in animal agriculture and disrupting the notion of the ‘happy farm animal’. This paper uses a case study approach to discuss the events that unfolded when direct action animal activists came into conflict with Western Australian farmers and businesses in 2019. The conflict resulted in increased news reporting, front-page coverage from mainstream press, arrests and parliamentary law changes. This case study explores how the activists’ strategic communication activities, which included livestreaming their direct actions and other social media tactics, were portrayed by one major Australian media outlet and the farmers’ interest groups’ reactions to them.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): IT, Media and Communications
Publisher: SAGE
Copyright: © 2021 by SAGE Publications
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/63214
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