Abstract

Instances of unarmed African Americans being killed when encountering police officers have come to the forefront of the discussion about race and race relations in the U.S. This study investigates media framing to determine if there are elements of racism in media frames surrounding these events. This study seeks to determine the extent that the tenets of Critical Race Theory apply in news when comparing stories Fox News and CNN online articles with articles by Al Jazeera and BBC. The two cases chosen were the killings of Micheal Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and Freddie Gray in Baltimore, Maryland. Using critical frame analysis, I found that four themes: Gray’s illegal switchblade, Gray’s self-inflicted injury, age of #purge rioters, Gray family’s voice for non-violence. I found two themes in the Michael Brown case, detailing Brown’s encounter with Officer Wilson and Brown family’s voice for non-violence. The emerging media frames revealed tenets of Critical Race Theory such as unmarked, subtle, business-as-usual racialized framing in Fox News and CNN coverage. As CRT suggests, these frames were hidden and obscured yet throughout the twenty articles by Fox News and CNN online articles with articles by Al Jazeera and BBC. The two cases chosen were the killings of Micheal Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and Freddie Gray in Baltimore, Maryland. Using critical frame analysis, I found that four themes: Gray’s illegal switchblade, Gray’s self-inflicted injury, age of #purge rioters, Gray family’s voice for non-violence. I found two themes in the Michael Brown case, detailing Brown’s encounter with Officer Wilson and Brown family’s voice for non-violence. The emerging media frames revealed tenets of Critical Race Theory such as unmarked, subtle, business-as-usual racialized framing in Fox News and CNN coverage. As CRT suggests, these frames were hidden and obscured yet throughout the twenty articles by Fox News and CNN, and only revealed when comparing the articles with those from Al Jazeera and BBC.

Advisor

Christopher Brown

First Committee Member

Kebba Darboe

Second Committee Member

Sachi Sekimoto

Date of Degree

2017

Language

english

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Communication Studies

College

Arts and Humanities

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.