Masters Thesis

Meaning between the words

A sample of sixteen homicides occurring in Humboldt County, California was used to compare the Times-Standard’s treatment of homicides in 1982, 1995, and 2009. The sample examined eight homicide cases involving a Native American victim or suspect and eight cases which did not involve a Native American victim or suspect. Through the use of the qualitative research method, ethnographic content analysis, three protocols were developed for the process of analyzing the sample. Protocol I found articles without Native American Identifier (NAI) had more pictures than articles with NAI. Protocol II focused on use of kill words in the articles. The word killer was most frequently applied to articles without NAI. Protocol III looked at descriptions of victims and suspects through the lens of victimized, eulogized, criticized, authorized, and criminalized language in the Times-Standard. Victims without NAI were more frequently eulogized and less likely to be criticized or criminalized. Victims with NAI were more frequently criticized, authorized, or criminalized for their deaths. Suspects with and without NAI were equally criminalized and criticized. When a homicide involved a victim with NAI and a suspect without, it was more common for the suspect to be authorized for their actions, than when the victim and suspect did not have NAI. Suspects with NAI were less likely to be victimized compared to suspects without NAI.

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