Media and Water Issue Perceptions among Ethnic Communities: An Analysis of English and Non-English Print Media Coverage of Water Issues in Sydney between 2002-2012 (14650)
Growing awareness among water managers and academics that water use conforms to routines and internalised norms, which develop within the socio-cultural backgrounds of consumers, has increased attention on the importance of exploring the possible impacts that ethnicity and cultural diversity have on water consumption and water management. Investigation of the relations between ethnic and cultural diversity and water management is important to understand everyday practices of water use for by ethnic groups, and to ensure cultural sensitivity and equal opportunity in water planning and management.
This paper focuses on media coverage of water issues. It is critical to understand how the issues relating to water are reported, or ignored, among different language media and the possible influence this may have on community perception among ethnic groups. In this paper, six daily newspapers published in Sydney between 2002-2012 in three languages (two in English, three Chinese language publications and a Korean language newspaper) were analysed. This research highlights similarities and differences between the newspapers as Sydney’s water situation moved from drought conditions to water abundance. While individual differences are vital, this research highlights the need to investigate media construction of water issues in various Non-English language publications as a necessary part of water management in an ethnically diverse city. This conclusion applies to Australia’s other large cities where significant variation exists in the ethnic and cultural backgrounds of the residents.