Surfing the green web: Communication and ' the environment' in online Australia
SAGE Publications Inc.
Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences
School of Communications and Multimedia
Environmental organisations have often adapted quickly to the workings of existing media institutions. Prominent organisations like Greenpeace feature regularly in mainstream news, demonstrating their deep understanding of mainstream media processes. Now the emerging sphere of the new media has opened up further space for environmental organisations to utilise. The Web promises new and more effective ways of communicating with Australians interested in, and concerned with, ‘the environment’. This paper explores the emerging sphere of communication via textual analysis of a number of Websites that contribute significantly to the environmental debate. Here we find a playing field which is only just beginning to take shape, where audiences are only just beginning to understand the game, and although many of the players are familiar, when this combines with complex environmental issues, we find a playing field characterised by heterogeneity and diversity. What follows is a survey of this entangled technocultural phenomenon.