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The Media and Ferguson: Descriptions of the authorities and the demonstrators in the reporting of the riots in Ferguson
Dalarna University, School of Humanities and Media Studies, English.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This study aims to contribute to the research about ideology in media by examining how some newspapers described the authorities and the protesters during the first weeks of the riots in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014. The study investigated to what extent the authorities and demonstrators were described in positive, neutral or negative ways, and whether there were any differences across four different newspapers (The LA Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Saint Louis Post-Dispatch). Articles written about the riots were selected from the four newspapers. The material was analyzed from the perspective of certain keywords in context, utilizing methods from critical discourse analysis and corpus linguistics, to see if negative or positive descriptions of either the authorities or the demonstrators were present. It was found that there were indeed differences in the way the authorities and the demonstrators were described, with all the large newspapers mostly describing the demonstrators in a positive way and the police in a negative way. The local newspaper was found to do the opposite, however. So while these newspapers might want to appear neutral, there is in fact ideology present in all of them, as they all chose to describe one party more favorably than the other.

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General Language Studies and Linguistics
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-20778OAI: oai:DiVA.org:du-20778DiVA: diva2:894025
Available from: 2016-01-14 Created: 2016-01-14

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