Mediating claims of environmental degradation, source credibility and risk to human health: Ecuadorian news coverage of the Chevron case

Document Type



Published in: Global Media and Communication, vol. 12, no. 1, 2016.


How are claims of environmental degradation and health risk and hazard socially constructed in mediated arenas? This article examines frames, sources and claims in articles from Ecuadorian news regarding the lawsuit against Chevron brought by thousands of indigenous peoples living in the Amazonian region, who claimed their health was at risk and ancestral lands destroyed by petroleum contamination. Findings indicated that the risk discussion at the heart of events and conflicts was subsumed by coverage that focused largely on the legal conflict as well as was indexed to the claims denying the hazard. The case has significance for understanding mediated claims of risk and responsibility through a lens of news production.