News media portrayal of attributed stakeholder attitudes to shark management in Australia

Nigel Hardiman, Shelley Burgin, Jia Shao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
88 Downloads (Pure)


Shark attacks have increased globally and are one of the most widely reported human-wildlife conflicts. Reflecting global trends, the number of recorded attacks has increased in Australian waters. Whether positively or negatively affected, stakeholders potentially often pressure authorities to mitigate economic and human risks when developing shark management policies. This article used discourse analysis to review how attitudes toward management approaches were attributed in Australian newspapers to a range of stakeholders. The most frequently attributed stakeholders were journalists and public office holders; victims, commercial operators, and scientists were least attributed. Although most measures were portrayed as supported by a majority of stakeholders, there was apparent misalignment between reported public and policymaker attitudes, especially regarding lethal control. Despite the ramifications (e.g., social, biological) of shark management and policymaking, reporting of science-informed facts and use of scientists to inform debate were low. Opportunities exist for increased engagement among scientists, journalists, and policymakers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)548-563
Number of pages16
JournalHuman Dimensions of Wildlife
Issue number6
Early online date24 Sept 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2019


  • Stakeholder attitudes
  • community attitudes
  • human-wildlife conflict
  • public opinion
  • shark management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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