Misrepresentation can be extremely injurious to animals because of the false images that are portrayed and projected, and in my new book Rewilding our hearts: Building pathways of compassion and coexistence I discuss this in a chapter called "Rewilding the Media: Our Mirror Up to Nature."
I am not alone in my concerns and now Dr. Carrie Freeman, Associate Professor of Communication at Georgia State University, has co-authored a media style guide along with media scholar Deb Merskin, Associate Professor at the School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon in Eugene, that is essential reading for anyone writing about other animals. Their website is called "Animals and Media: A Style Guide For Giving Voice to the Voiceless" and their credentials are available here.
"Animals and Media" should be mandatory reading. On the site, you'll find guidelines for how animals are represented in journalism, advertising, public relations, and entertainment and also tips for the general public and extremely valuable resources including Online Resources and a Glossary of Animal-Related Terms. The style guidelines were created for media practitioners in the professions of journalism, entertainment media, advertising, and public relations to offer concrete guidance for how to cover and represent nonhuman animals in a fair, honest, and respectful manner in accordance with professional ethical principles.