This exploratory study applies new techniques in computer-aided content analysis to track news media coverage of the unconventional gas industry in Australia and the United States. The interplay between issues and key stakeholders as represented in news coverage in these two countries compares and contrasts in important ways when mapped over time. The data set comprises 17,459 news articles from the United States and 9,821 from Australia published between January 2008 and December 2013. Initially presented as compelling business story in Australia, unconventional gas is today more frequently depicted as a zero sum game in which a win for the economy equates to a loss for environment and quality of life. The industry has had a different trajectory in the United States with more evidence of bipartisan advocacy and support. In taking an ecological, longitudinal approach, this study contributes conceptually and methodologically to our understanding of the news media discourse, public opinion, controversial new technologies and contested industries.
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