‘When the dog bites’: What can we learn about health geography from newspaper coverage in a ‘model city’ for dog-bite prevention? - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Journal Articles Health & Place Year : 2019

‘When the dog bites’: What can we learn about health geography from newspaper coverage in a ‘model city’ for dog-bite prevention?

Abstract

Despite calls for the adoption of 'One-Health' approaches, dog-bite injuries remain neglected in healthcare and public health, and our study may help to understand why. Media coverage can influence policy directions, including policies that address dogs. We collected articles (n = 65) published in two local newspapers, 2012-2017, then carried out an ethnographically-informed discourse analysis of the dog-bite reports. The newspapers portrayed dog-bites mainly as matters of public disorder, as opposed to priorities for healthcare and public health. Even as our study took place in a city that has shown dog-bite reductions without recourse to 'breed bans' or restrictions (i.e., breed-specific legislation), journalists still tended to emphasize dog breed as a narrative element in explaining dog-bite incidents. Nonetheless, the news coverage did not reproduce a 'nature versus nurture' dichotomy. Rather, the journalists presented dog breed, and presumably associated aggressive behaviour, as entanglements with social, economic, and cultural contexts. Meanwhile, the news stories reduced contextual complexity to geographic locations, as codes for community reputation, in attributing causality and morality.
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Dates and versions

hal-03300708 , version 1 (27-07-2021)

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Morgan Mouton, A Boulton, O Solomon, M. J. Rock. ‘When the dog bites’: What can we learn about health geography from newspaper coverage in a ‘model city’ for dog-bite prevention?. Health & Place, 2019, 57, pp.70 - 73. ⟨10.1016/j.healthplace.2019.03.001⟩. ⟨hal-03300708⟩
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