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.
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