Conversations about coyotes can quickly get controversial, particularly in the media. Are they simply another creature trying to care for their families and live life peacefully, or are they menacing charlatans waiting to pluck away what we love most? If you’re listening to this show, chances are you agree with the former, which also happens to be based in fact. But if you read or watch news, or, worse, read social media comments, you’ll know that there’s an awful lot of people who believe the latter is true.
That’s one of the reasons why we need to question the language we use, the way we have conversations, and how we perceive our own and others’ experiences. At the forefront of these difficult questions is Dr. Shelley Alexander of the University of Calgary.
Dr. Alexander has authored, co-authored, and supervised significant studies, including a media content analysis that highlighted the veracity of media bias in reporting on coyote conflict. In a conversation with Defender Radio, Dr. Alexander explores the results of her past studies, discusses the misinterpretation of coyote behaviour, and helps us find the questions we must ask to change the conversations we have about coyotes.
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