Culture and Conflict: The Framing of News in Three National U.S. Newspapers

Angela Powers

Jennifer Godbersen

Cite as: Powers, Angela (2023). “Culture and Conflict: The Framing of News in Three National U.S. Newspapers”. Journal of Creative Industries and Cultural Studies (JOCIS), v. 9, pp. 24-47.

Overview: This research addressed how corporate political leanings of media organizations impacted journalistic coverage of issues of conflict and culture.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to identify how national newspapers with different editorial stances framed protest news coverage of the cultural issue of Black Lives Matter in order to attract audiences and differentiate their products. Journalists are influenced not only by what they see and hear at the scene of a news story but by the work practices and management decisions of their news organizations and parent companies.

Methodology: Three national newspapers were chosen for analysis. Computational and manual content analyses of news stories were conducted to identify differences in word usage, story bias, and source usage. Newspaper stories on Black Lives Matter were collected at the height of coverage in Spring 2020 following the death of George Floyd and again in Spring 2021 surrounding the trial of Derek Chauvin, the police officer held responsible for the death. This timeframe provided an opportunity to measure differences in institutional and journalistic content decisionmaking
in news stories during the heat of cultural exchanges.

Findings: Analysis of newspaper coverage of the cultural movement indicated differences in coverage existed among newspapers where the liberal-leaning newspaper was more likely to engage in more sensational coverage, while the conservative newspaper engaged in more contextual coverage.

Keywords: civility, social media, journalism, news, Black Lives Matter, peace

ISSN: 2184-0466.
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