Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Deborah Smith-Howel


The abuse of animals is an important social issue. Animals play a vital role in society, serving as companions and service animals for people. A qualitative content analysis was conducted to evaluate Midwest newspaper coverage of animal abuse in 1993, 1998, and 2002. The theories of social construction of reality, agenda setting, and priming were used to examine the effects of media coverage of animal abuse. Results showed that animal abuse has received increased coverage over the years.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of Communication and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright Lara Jasmine Imbrock November, 2003

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