Newspaper coverage of controversies about large-scale swine facilities in rural communities in Illinois

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The building and expansion of large-scale swine facilities has created considerable controversy in many neighboring communities, but to date, no systematic analysis has been done of the types of claims made during these conflicts. This study examined how local newspapers in one state covered the transition from the dominance of smaller, diversified swine operations to large, single-purpose pig production facilities. To look at publicly made statements concerning large-scale swine facilities (LSSF), the study collected all articles related to LSSF from 22 daily Illinois newspapers over a 3-yr period (a total of 1,737 articles). The most frequent sets of claims used by proponents of LSSF were that the environment was not harmed, that state regulations were sufficiently strict, and that the state economically needed this type of agriculture. The most frequent claims made by opponents were that LSSF harmed the environment and neighboring communities and that stricter regulations were needed. Proponents' claims were primarily defensive and, to some degree, underplayed the advantages of LSSF. Pro-and anti-LSSF groups were talking at cross-purposes, to some degree. Even across similar themes, those in favor of LSSF and those opposed were addressing different sets of concerns. The newspaper claims did not indicate any effective alliances forming between local anti-LSSF groups and national environmental or animal rights groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2705-2712
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of animal science
Volume83
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2005

Keywords

  • Community Reaction
  • Controversy
  • Hog Waste
  • Newspapers
  • Odor
  • Swine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics

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