Masters Thesis

Media Framing and Michael Brown August 9, 2014 - December 6, 2014: A Study of Print Media

The purpose of this content analysis is to examine representations and use of racialized and coded language in print media sources between August 9, 2014 and December 6, 2014 about the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. The analysis includes coverage of specific time periods during those months of Al Jazeera America, the New York Post, The New York Times, and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. After a white police officer shoots a black teenager, the media creates and responds to opposing narratives regarding race, justice, and the role of police in poor communities. This project illustrates how the media frames and shapes narratives and how the use of specific language shapes those narratives. The findings highlight three themes that appear throughout the news sources: the consensus and exacerbation of political discord, the media’s racialization of the military style law enforcement, and the social construction of race through discourse.

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