This study explores how Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr., were framed by the New York Times from 1960 through 1965.
Drawing on concepts of hegemony and racism, a textual analysis was used to examine 136 articles mentioning King and 44 articles mentioning Malcolm X.
Coverage of each man was compared with the other for evidence of framing.
The study found four recurring themes surrounding the coverage of these two men: the diminishment of Malcolm X as a leader, a mistrust and skepticism of Malcolm X and the Black Muslims, a deep fear of racial violence, and the stigmatization of Malcolm X.
Through this framing, Malcolm X was labeled as a deviant while Martin Luther King, Jr., was embraced as a righteous leader. These characterizations reinforced hegemonic power structures while also supporting ideological notions of accepted racial norms in the United States.