Feeding the World

By: Fiona Wade  

When advocates consider how to encourage governments to affect a reactive change in policy, there exists an assumed rhetoric that the media is the mitigating factor required for success, with limited evidence to substantiate the claim. This is in part due to the difficulty previous research studies have found in coming to a definitive answer as to who and what affects policy change. This research paper provides evidence to show how public policy can be manipulated by advocates, using a case study to illustrate pressure points for policy decision makers. The focus of this research paper will be answering the fundamental question: who influences federal government policy relevant to the Australian agricultural sector, in particular, the live export market, and what are the global implications. Using the case study of the live export industry and events that occurred in 2011 post the Four Corners program, ‘A Bloody Business’, this paper deconstructs newsprint, parliamentary debate and the interviews of 18 respondents, to reach seven findings that will serve and provide practical guidance and inform best practice for those aiming to affect policy change within government. While drawing on theoretical concepts including Lippmann's agenda-setting and acknowledging past academic scholarship placing the media at the forefront of the communities’ understanding and participation in the political process, this research paper concludes that a multiple and multilayered approach must be considered for policy change to occur; one that combines politics, media and community advocacy.

Media, Policy, Agenda
Media Business
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Dr. Fiona Wade

Doctorate of Proefssional Studies candidate, School of Arts and Communication, University of Southern Queensland, Australia
-, Australia