Miller, J. D., Hackworth, K., Cox, C., Rucker, J., & Stringer, K. (2022). Themes and tones of blog posts about animal agriculture and protein production. Journal of Agricultural Education, 63(3), 16-31. https://doi.org/10.5032/jae.2022.03016
Research on blogs’ role in public relations about animal agriculture production is limited at best. This case study set out to describe the characteristics of selected bloggers’ writing about protein-related topics and issues, with a special focus on how the protein industry was represented, what themes were most common, and what the tonal characteristics of the blog posts were. Researchers used a content analysis approach to describe the content of 37 blog posts from eight purposively selected blogs that contained posts about protein-related topics. The content analysis showed at least three types of blogs about protein—organizational, which included meat industry organizations as well as activist groups that seek to effect changes in the protein industry; professional, which included blog entries by experts (such as dieticians) representing their own opinions; and personal, which included lifestyle bloggers who were not experts but who provided information to readers on a variety of topics. In terms of themes, four prominent overarching themes were identified by coders, including environment, consumption of protein, alternative protein sources, and alternative dieting. Tones associated with the environmental theme were mostly negative toward the protein industry. Tones associated with the consumption of protein were mostly positive toward the industry. Tones in the blog entries about alternative protein sources and alternative dieting were mixed—both positive and negative toward the protein industry.