Taking animal news seriously: Cat tales in the New York Times

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


'Cute cat videos' are often vilified for representing everything journalism is not and should not be. However, news about cats - cute and otherwise - has been fodder for The New York Times for more than 140 years. This article critically examines the Times' cat tales in the context of the cultural history of journalism and the academic study of human-animal relations, also known as anthrozoology. Trends and themes in the coverage indicate that cats have been used and portrayed as commodities, heroes, villains, victims, women's best friends, and urban symbols. The stories demonstrate how and why animal news should be taken seriously by journalism scholars. Not only does it offer insight into our evolving relationships with animals, it also provides a provocative means of thinking about where journalism has been and where it is heading.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)366-381
Number of pages16
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2016


  • Animal news
  • The New York Times
  • anthrozoology
  • human interest news
  • soft news
  • ultural history

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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