Effects of emotion rather than science in the argument over wolves

There is a greatly needed opinion piece in “New West” by a former science journalist-

When Emotion Drives the Wolf Debate, Research Suffers. “The Rocky Mountain West is producing solid science in regard to wolves. Too bad what’s learned is buried under what’s opined.” By Steve Bunk. Guest column in  New West.

I want to add that science in many fields is being attacked (not necessarily by the government, but by political groups) in the United States.  This turn to ideology, crude self interest, and various religious dogmas will destroy America, IMO.  Ralph Maughan

Media stories about wolves have become more negative

JB’s research shows wolf stories are most negative in places where they are just beginning to colonize-

Our own JB (Jeremy T. Bruskotter) and colleagues have just had their article “Attitudes Toward Wolves in the United States and Canada: A Content Analysis of the Print News Media, 1999-2008” published in the refereed Journal, Human Dimensions of Wildlife.

Here is a n news story about it stressing the Montana angle, although the data was gathered from all over. Wolf Story Time: Researchers Measure Views in MT News. Public News Service.

“Bruskotter notes there are some who argue that the views contained in news stories mirror public opinion, but he points out that separate public opinion research doesn’t support that claim. He believes no matter what the views portrayed in the news coverage, they affect public opinion.”

Here is a brief summary of the study’s findings (beyond those reported in the article above).  The summary is written by JB.