Main Article Content
The 1970s and 1980s were key years for the consolidation of environmentalism and environmental communication. In Spain, the special political situation during General Franco’s military dictatorship conditioned the coverage of environmental issues, as did the transition to democracy. The Albufera Natural Park (Valencia, Spain) was a particularly significant case in this context, since it was involved in one of the first environmental protests to protect a natural area covered by Spanish media. In this paper, we study opinion articles published in the Valencian newspapers Las Provincias and Levante, in order to analyze the evolution of the environmental discourse in Spanish society from the dictatorship to the first years of democracy. Hence, we analyze and compare opinion articles about this natural space in two specific periods: the campaign against the urbanization project for the forest of Devesa del Saler, in the Albufera, from 1973 to 1974; and the reaction of the Valencian press between 1986 and 1990, when Spain was already a democracy and after the area was declared a natural park. Our research uses framing theory to include both quantitative and qualitative analysis. Results show there is an evolution concerning the perception of environmental protection: while it was seen as a citizen vindication of the public space during the dictatorship, in democracy it entered the sphere of policy management.
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