“Keep it Wild, Keep it Local”: Comparing News Media and the Internet as Sites for Environmental Movement Activism for Jumbo Pass, British Columbia


  • Mark CJ Stoddart Memorial University of Newfoundland
  • Laura MacDonald University of British Columbia




environmentalism, mass media, computer-mediated communication, sport, recreation and tourism, British Columbia, social movements


Environmental movements depend on mass media to reach the public and shape political decision-making. Without media access, social movements experience political marginality. In this paper, we examine whether the internet is a more open space than traditional media for activists to speak on behalf of non-human nature. Our analysis is based upon newspaper coverage and environmental organization websites that focus on the conflict over the proposed Jumbo Glacier Resort ski resort development in British Columbia. Environmental websites and mass media texts both define Jumbo Pass as wilderness and grizzly bear habitat, while focusing on ecological issues and questions of local democracy. However, environmental group websites discuss a greater range of environmental risks and provide more detailed discussion of these issues. Environmentalist websites also integrate scientific experts and celebrity supporters to a greater degree than mass media texts, which are dominated by environmentalist, ski industry, and provincial government news sources.

Author Biographies

Mark CJ Stoddart, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Dr. Stoddart is Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at Memorial University of Newfoundland. His research interests include the eco-politics of outdoor sport and nature tourism, media representations of environmental conflict, and the cultural dynamics of environmental movement participation. His work has appeared in Nature and Culture, the International Review for the Sociology of Sport, Social Movement Studies and BC Studies. A book on the political ecology of skiing is forthcoming with UBC Press.

Laura MacDonald, University of British Columbia

Laura MacDonald is a PhD student in the Department of Sociology at the University of British Columbia. Her main area of interest is media and society.