The framing of public knowledge controversies in the media: a comparative analysis of the portrayal of badger vaccination in the English national, regional and farming press

Naylor, R, Manley, W, Mayle, D, Enticott, G, Ilbery, B and Hamilton-Webb, A (2016) The framing of public knowledge controversies in the media: a comparative analysis of the portrayal of badger vaccination in the English national, regional and farming press. Sociologia Ruralis, 57. pp. 3-22. ISSN 1467-9523

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Abstract

This paper maps the ‘knowledge controversy’ surrounding the control of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) in England, which has become a highly politicized and controversial issue in recent years. The disease, which is now costing the UK over £90 million each year, has received substantial policy and media attention, particularly in relation to badgers and their role in its spread. This paper focuses on the ways in which the various debates associated with bTB and its control are presented in the press, with a specific emphasis on badger vaccination. The analysis compares regional, national and farming press, and identifies a number of complex dualisms against which the debate is framed. Three key dualisms are identified: (1) the scientific evidence on which policy support for badger vaccination is based (science versus practical reality); (2) the controversy surrounding the potential efficacy of proposed control measures (badger vaccination versus badger culling); (and (3) the role of different stakeholders in spreading/controlling the disease (victim versus culprit). These dualisms help to explain the unclear policy direction and constant divisions between those who do and do not support badger vaccination, and the continued status of bTB control as a public knowledge controversy.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: badger vaccination, bovine tuberculosis, media analysis, knowledge controversy
Divisions: Agriculture, Food and Environment
Depositing User: Prof Meriel Moore-Colyer
Date Deposited: 16 Feb 2017 14:21
Last Modified: 22 May 2019 15:02
URI: http://rau.repository.guildhe.ac.uk/id/eprint/15192

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