’Story-Networks’ of Livestock and Climate Change: Actors, the Artifacts, and the Shaping of Print Media

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Despite widespread media coverage of livestock-related issues and growing scientific evidence linking meat production and climate change, systematic content analysis of this relationship in media coverage has been surprisingly minimal. In this article, we combine actor-network theory with framing theory to develop the basis for “story-networks”—networks of actants and artifacts that shape how a media report or “story” is framed. We coded livestock-related articles from a major U.S. newspaper, the Los Angeles Times, over the 1999–2010 period to understand how various actants and artifacts shaped different story-networks. Just 5% of all livestock articles addressed connections with climate change; these articles focused on technology, lifestyle, or policy. Distinctive story-networks characterized each category, framing the livestock–climate change linkage as an issue to be addressed through either technological innovation, individual lifestyle choices, or policy action. In each story-network type, varying configurations of actants and artifacts were involved, including the cattle themselves.

actor-network theory (ANT)
climate change
framing theory
Publication Type: 
Journal Article
Society & Natural Resources: An International Journal
Date Published: 
July 10, 2014
Persistent URL: 
DOI: 10.1080/08941920.2014.918227
Full Citation: 
Lee, Keith Chun Leem, Joshua P. Newell, Jennifer Wolch, Nicole Schneider, and Pascale Joassart-Marcelli. (2014) “’Story-Networks’ of Livestock and Climate Change: Actors, Their Artifacts, and the Shaping of Urban Print Media.” Society & Natural Resources: An International Journal. 27(9): 948-963.
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