Select Page

Grugan, S. T. (2019). Capturing Cruelty: A Content Analysis of Companion Animal Cruelty in the News Media. Society & Animals, 27(1), 92-108.

The news media has long been identified as one of the primary sources for factual crime information for the general public, but not much is known about media coverage of cruelty against nonhuman animals, specifically. This study is a content analysis of media-presented themes in 240 print news articles that reported incidents of cruelty against companion animals in the United States in 2013. Seven thematic presentations of cruelty are identified and include: neutrality, condemnation, sympathy for the animal, drama, advocacy, humor, and sympathy for the offender. These themes are not mutually exclusive, with many articles including aspects of more than one theme. Themes are discussed in detail in regard to expanding the understanding of how specific forms of crime are presented by the news media based in news-making criminology.

Note: To read Society & Animals articles, you must either get a subscription to Society & Animals, which ASI scholar members get a discount for, or you can access it through a university account, or by purchasing the individual article from the publisher. Per our agreement with the publisher, once the article is three years old we will be able to add it to our archive of journal articles that is available to Scholar, Student, and Professional members. These archives contain the entire body of articles (minus the past three years) for both of the journals we edit, Society & Animals and Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Unless otherwise noted, all content on this website is copyright © 2018 The Animals and Society Institute. Please visit to find out more about our reprint and use policies.

Share Us Online