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This research paper is an account and analysis of English media reporting on wildlife conservation and protected areas (PAs) in Maharashtra, India, between 1994 and 2015. It is based on 269 articles that first appeared in the media and were then edited for publication in the â€˜Protected Area Updateâ€™. The analysis attempts to draw out significant themes that the media deems important in matters of wildlife conservation. Themes that emerge prominently are related to issues of land, displacement of people, development projects, and tourism. We also discovered that some PAs like the Sanjay Gandhi National Park and the Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve receive disproportionately large media space, while a third of the PAs were not reported on at all. This does not imply that these areas were not reported in the larger media that the newsletter draws upon, but points to the skewed coverage and (limited) importance these PAs get. We argue that media content analysis is a useful tool because the media is the first interface for the general public on issues of wildlife conservation and plays an important role in shaping public opinion. To our knowledge, this is the first such state-wide study of media reporting of wildlife conservation issues; it provides important insights into the wildlife conservation discourse in the country as well as the concerns, priorities, and challenges of the media.
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