Giving Voice to the "Voiceless:" Incorporating Nonhuman Animal Perspectives as Journalistic SourcesCommunication Faculty Publications
AbstractAs part of journalism's commitment to truth and justice by providing a diversity of relevant points of view, journalists have an obligation to provide the perspective of nonhuman animals in everyday stories that influence the animals' and our lives. This essay provides justification and guidance on why and how this can be accomplished, recommending that, when writing about nonhuman animals or issues, journalists should: 1) observe, listen to, and communicate with animals and convey this information to audiences via detailed descriptions and audiovisual media, 2) interpret nonhuman animal behavior and communication to provide context and meaning, and 3) incorporate the animals’ stories and perspectives, and consider what is in their best interest. To fairly balance animal-industry sources and the anthropocentric biases that are traditionally inherent in news requires that journalists select less objectifying language and more appropriate human sources without a vested interest in how animals are used.
Citation InformationFreeman, C. P., Bekoff, M. & Bexell, S. (2011). Giving voice to the voiceless: Incorporating nonhuman animal perspectives as journalistic sources. Journalism Studies, 12(5), 590-607.