Une Re-définition de la Frontière Humain-Animal à travers les Images des Médias d'Information Suisses
This article analyzes the social representations of animals in the Swiss media in two recent crises: the bird flu epidemic (2004-2007) and dog attacks (2005- 2008). While animals have been a privileged subject in the media for a long time, they are increasingly characterized in Western societies by ambivalent representations: animals can be considered as threats to human beings, although at the same time we assist in a growing zoo centrism. Based on a corpus of images from Swiss television and news magazines, this article provides a better understanding of symbols and stereotypes depicted in the visual "language" and the way images depict animals as dangerous. While media coverage shifts from an intimate drama (during dog attacks) to a worldwide threat (through the bird flu), it is characterized by a sensationalist framing which reinforces human responsibility for the risk and its management, thereby signaling a permanent re-negotiation of the human-animal frontier.