First Advisor

Cynthia-Lou Coleman

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Communication






Environmental reporting -- Columbia River, Mass media -- Social aspects, Fishery management Press coverage Columbia River, Mass media and the environment -- Columbia River



Physical Description

1 online resource (x, 160 p.) : col. ill., col. map


This thesis examines how the construction of news stories reveals relationships among groups of stakeholders and how their views unfold within environmental conflict coverage. This study uses a content analysis of 161 newspaper articles concerning the sea lion and salmon controversy at the Bonneville Dam, focusing on source use and blame and solution frames in environmental conflict coverage. This analysis of articles published between January 2003 and June 2010 in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, California, and Montana contributes to research concerning journalistic norms (i.e., balance and objectivity) and news production routines, specifically within the field of environmental reporting. The findings indicate governmental sources were most frequently quoted and presented the most successful solution frames; while advocacy/non-profit sources were quoted less frequently (in addition to tribal sources) and presented the most blame and failed solution frames. Additionally, this research reflects on the role of news filters, including journalistic norms and legal issues, and explores the relationship between blame frames and failed solution frames, which is perhaps a reflection of the role of spokespeople and media jargon.


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Portland State University. Dept. of Communication

Persistent Identifier