Document Detail

Content analysis of newspaper coverage of the Florida panther.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21978166     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Populations of large carnivores are declining globally, and analysis of public discourse about carnivores is useful for understanding public opinion and influences on management and policy. Portrayal of carnivores in the media affects public perceptions and support for their conservation. We conducted a content analysis of 513 articles about Florida panthers (Puma concolor coryi) published from 2003 to 2006 in newspapers with local circulation in core panther habitat in southwest Florida and papers with statewide circulation to compare the differences in the amount of coverage and portrayals of panther risks to people and property on the basis of proximity of human communities to panthers. Local papers published significantly more news articles and significantly longer news articles primarily about panthers. Articles in local and statewide papers used both episodic frames, which focus on specific occurrences (e.g., a panther sighting or predation) and thematic frames, which focus on general trends (e.g., abundance of panthers over time). Local articles more often emphasized risks that panthers might harm people, pets, or livestock than statewide papers. Our results are consistent with theory that proximity to human-carnivore conflict influences perceptions and salience of risks posed by large carnivores. Most articles mentioned panthers as a secondary topic, which we believe was a result of the relevance an endangered carnivore has in discussions of public land management, development, and regulations in Florida. Claims made by sources quoted in each article had a neutral to positive depiction of panthers, and most quotations were from federal and state agency scientists. We suggest continued use by the media of agency sources provides the opportunity for clear, concordant messages about panther management. Content analysis provides a way to monitor media portrayal of carnivores for consistency with agency outreach goals.
Susan K Jacobson; Cynthia Langin; J Stuart Carlton; Lynda Lee Kaid
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.     Date:  2011-10-06
Journal Detail:
Title:  Conservation biology : the journal of the Society for Conservation Biology     Volume:  26     ISSN:  1523-1739     ISO Abbreviation:  Conserv. Biol.     Publication Date:  2012 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-01-27     Completed Date:  2012-06-04     Revised Date:  2014-03-25    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9882301     Medline TA:  Conserv Biol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  171-9     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
©2011 Society for Conservation Biology.
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MeSH Terms
Conservation of Natural Resources*
Endangered Species*
Public Opinion
Puma / physiology*

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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