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Research article2021Peer reviewedOpen access

News selection and framing: the media as a stakeholder in human-carnivore coexistence

Arbieu, U.; Chapron, G.; Astaras, C.; Bunnefeld, N.; Harkins, S.; Iliopoulos, Y.; Mehring, M.; Reinhardt, I; Mueller, T.


The media widely covers large carnivores and their impacts on human livelihood and plays an important role in their conservation. Yet, we know little about how species identity affects news selection, framing, accuracy and information flow. We investigated the online coverage of two cases of attacks or alleged attacks on humans alternatingly attributed to wolves and dogs in Greece and Germany. The period during which wolves were considered the primary suspects for the attacks was covered by up to two times more articles than when dogs were suspected. Wolves were presented as more likely suspects for the attacks than dogs, and wolf articles contained more inaccuracies measured as title-text mismatches. Press agencies played a significant role in the selection and dissemination of wolf news. We suggest that conservation scientists, journalists and policy makers work together to ensure an accurate representation in the media of human-carnivore coexistence and its challenges.


agenda setting; Canis lupus; communication; human-carnivore coexistence; information flow; media content analysis; news framing

Published in

Environmental Research Letters
2021, Volume: 16, number: 6, article number: 064075

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