Lyn McGaurr

The photography of debate and desire: Images, environment and the public sphere

Photography has long been a powerful tool of environmental communication and debate. In their efforts to promote environmental issues, landscape and wildlife photographers committed to conservation may provide images to established environmental non-government organisations (ENGOs), appear in activist documentaries, found their own ENGOs, curate websites and social media pages, run galleries or publish books. Yet the same photographs and photography events that feature in activist media may also appear in the editorial sections of commercial newspapers and magazines, and in public relations and advertising for consumer goods. This paper draws on interviews with photographers and ENGO spokespeople in North America to consider the implications for the public sphere of image events that combine activist media and mainstream media to promote environmental concern

Keywords: image event, public screen, public sphere, environmental movements, Great Bear Rainforest


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Note on the contributor

Lyn McGaurr is a Research Associate in the School of Social Science at the University of Tasmania, where she gained a PhD in 2013. She is the author of Environmental communication and travel journalism, published by Routledge in 2015. Her articles and chapters have appeared in Journalism Studies, Journalism Practice and several scholarly collections. With co-authors Libby Lester and Bruce Tranter she has also published in Environmental Communication and the International Journal of Press/Politics.