Newspaper construction of a moral farmer

Ann Reisner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examines how six national newspapers balanced supporting agriculture (a morally good occupation) with supporting environmentalism (nature as a moral value), in an area in which agricultural and environmental interests conflict-farm use of pesticides. The study showed that, contrary to expectations, newspapers supported social change (were largely critical of pesticide use and sympathetic to organic agriculture). Farmers were portrayed positively as quiet social movement participants, and newspapers suggested that government and universities were blocking infrastructural change that should be supported. The study contradicts earlier theories of the press and social movements that suggest that newspapers contain, rather than promote, social change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)46-63
Number of pages18
JournalRural Sociology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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