This article appeared in Journalism , October 2010 vol. 11 no. 5 , Sage
While coverage of the environment generally has increased in the national media, some subjects remain difficult to place. One such subject is endangered species and threats to their survival, in particular, loss of habitat. This article is about the reporting of one highly endangered European species, the Iberian lynx, in the UK national press. It exposes the news values determining which stories get into the press. The article also explores the role of individual journalists and environmental campaign groups in getting coverage and the persistence, invention and manoeuvring which leads to innovation in news values.
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The Missing Lynx
The clean-up campaign following Europe’s worst oil spill, in 1998, may be the last hope of saving the Iberian lynx. Ros Coward reports.
Looking at Coto Doñana in this year’s sunshine, it’s hard to believe only two years ago it was the site of Europe’s worst toxic spill. The lagoons and marshes, now drying up for summer, teem with wildlife. Flamingos move in the shallows among wading birds. There are storks’ nests on buildings and every so often a black shadow moves across the marshes; usually it’s a black kite but occasionally it’s a massive, imperial eagle. Doñana looks like the world heritage site it is, designated thus because its complex wetland ecology sustains an astonishing variety of plant, bird and animal species, including Europe’s most endangered carnivore, the Iberian lynx.
Full article: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2000/jul/26/endangeredspecies.oilspills