Challenging perceptions? Sustainability reporting, the media and mining

Tapia Rivera, R., Kirsch, P and Clark, P (2014). Challenging perceptions? Sustainability reporting, the media and mining. In: Life-of-Mine 2014: Delivering sustainable legacies through integrated life-of-mine planning. Life-of-Mine 2014, Brisbane, QLD, Australia, (413-426). 16-18 July 2014.

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Name Description MIMEType Size Downloads
Author Tapia Rivera, R.
Kirsch, P
Clark, P
Title of paper Challenging perceptions? Sustainability reporting, the media and mining
Conference name Life-of-Mine 2014
Conference location Brisbane, QLD, Australia
Conference dates 16-18 July 2014
Convener David Mulligan
Proceedings title Life-of-Mine 2014: Delivering sustainable legacies through integrated life-of-mine planning
Series The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy Publication Series No 4/2014
Place of Publication Carlton, VIC, Australia
Publisher AUSIMM
Publication Year 2014
Sub-type Fully published paper
Open Access Status
ISBN 9781925100082
Start page 413
End page 426
Total pages 14
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Formatted Abstract/Summary
Community members’ sources of information about companies’ social investments are often influenced by the messages in a variety of communication channels, such as newspapers, television and social media. In this sea of communication channels, corporate communications may not always have the desired effect in influencing community perceptions. This paper explores the efficacy of communication between mining companies and communities in Chile through content analysis of corporate sustainability reports and newspaper reporting.

Chilean media reporting between 2005 and 2013 is examined to identify community perceptions of corporate social investments made by mining companies. Content within the Chilean newspapers El Mercurio (national) and Soy Chile (regional) is contrasted with content from corporate sustainability reports published by The National Copper Corporation of Chile (Codelco) and Barrick Gold Corporation, Canada (Barrick) for the same period. The objective is to identify differences in the way that corporate social investments are reported by companies in sustainable development reporting and by media in newspapers.

Overall, the study demonstrates that the media’s framing and reporting of corporate activities was more negative than positive. Moreover, media outlets tended to focus upon the ‘negative impacts’ or ‘damage’ to communities brought about by mining developments. Conversely, companies’ public communications were largely focused upon direct improvements in livelihoods (health, education, etc) of neighbouring communities. This preliminary study provides a baseline for the development of new formats of effective communication with neighbouring communities. The paper advocates for an increase in participatory mechanisms with affected parties, which could lead towards a greater mutual understanding of the impacts and draw parties closer together.
Q-Index Code E1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
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Created: Thu, 21 Aug 2014, 11:39:57 EST by Mrs Barbara Whittaker on behalf of Minerals Industry Safety and Health Centre