Linfield Faculty Lecture Series


Eco-terrorism or Eco-tage: An Argument for the Proper Frame

Streaming Media

Document Type

Video File


1 hour 0 minutes 54 seconds

Publication Date



Journalism Studies | Rhetoric


This lecture traces the history of the term eco-terrorism and its use in the United States to stigmatize the protest activities of environmentalists. Dr. Lisa Weidman (assistant professor of mass communication at Linfield College) and Dr. David Sumner (associate professor of English at Linfield College) report on their research, which assessed acceptance of the term in public discourse (specifically in U.S. newspapers) and found that the term has been widely adopted. Drawing on theories from rhetoric and mass communication, the authors argue for a linguistic and ethical distinction between acts intended to harm humans and acts intended to harm only property. They conclude that the politicized term eco-terrorism is an inaccurate label for the activities of environmental activists, for whom the sacredness of life is a core value.


Sponsored by the Linfield College Office of Academic Affairs