Shoemaker has argued that it is not the justice of a source’s case that affects journalists’ selection of sources but the source’s extroversion, assertiveness, credibility (assigned to them by the journalists!), accessibility and quotability (Shoemaker, 1996: 182). In the UK the most active environmentalist operations are Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth. There are several hundred other bodies, from the Nature Conservancy Council to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and the National Trust. Some of these organisations are believed to be both rich and influential, with policies and monetary interests to defend. Greenpeace is suspected by some of launching some of its campaigns to boost membership rather than to call attention to a real problem (Ridley, 1996); it has been argued that the National Trust, Britain’s best established conservation body, has argued to serve sectional interests while presenting itself as altruistic (C4, 1994). Their weapons are those of all pressure groups and include briefings by plausible experts, press releases in print, video or audio form, pseudo events and contacts in the worlds of the decision-makers and the opinion-formers. Journalists on the whole like sources that seem established and mainstream; in a study of the coverage of environmental disasters by

newspapers, it was found that journalists were more likely to rely upon government sources than upon scientists (Hornig, 1991).