In a state such as Australia with strong protections for primary producers and an alignment with a broadly neoliberal agenda, arguments by animal activists can receive short shrift in the public sphere. This is illustrated with the increase within Australia of calls for ag-gag laws and by the public labelling of animal activists as acting to the detriment of the Australian national interest. In this paper we detail the highly effective media communications strategies of "Animals Australia," a peak national body concerned with strengthening animal welfare policies and practices across Australia. "Animals Australia," as we show through discursive analysis of their campaigns and mainstream responses, has been able to access and engage both mainstream and alternative media in their communications strategies so as to develop a broad support base of everyday Australians and engage them in a range of large-scale protest activities. They have not just shifted the tenor of Australian attitudes towards livestock animals, but achieved policy change.
"Animals Australia", " Media", " Politics"
Media Cultures, 2018 Special Focus: Alt-Media - The Shifting Tide of Political Communication
Virtual Lightning Talk
-, -, Federation University Australia, Australia
Jane Mummery is a Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at Federation University Australia. She is the author of The Post to Come: An Outline of Post-Metaphysical Ethics (Peter Lang, 2005), of Understanding Feminism (with Peta Bowden, Acumen, 2009), Radicalizing Democracy for the Twenty-first Century (Routledge, 2017), and Digital Culture and Activism in Australia (with Debbie Rodan, Rowman & Littlefield, 2018, forthcoming). Her research interests include the ethical and political dimensions of everyday life, and her collaboration with Debbie Rodan has resulted in numerous articles examining the possibilities for identity construction, deliberation and social change within participatory and social media.
Debbie Rodan is Associate Professor in Media & Cultural Studies at Edith Cowan University, and author of Identity and Justice: Conflicts, Contradictions and Contingencies (Peter Lang, 2004), co-author of Disability, Obesity and Ageing: Popular Media Identifications (with Katie Ellis & Pia Lebeck, Ashgate, 2014) and co-author of Activism and Digital Culture in Australia (with Jane Mummery, Rowman & Littlefield, 2018, forthcoming). Her current work specializes in digital media, focusing on activist’s use of digital culture in Australia, and has been published in various national and international academic journals.