This study explores how Whiteness was framed in network television news coverage of the Minutemen, a group of volunteers who stationed themselves along the U.S.-Mexico border to prevent immigrants from illegally entering the country. In a visual-textual analysis, I examined stories about the group that aired on the evening news broadcasts. I found that, through a series of frames enacted by the Minutemen and reinforced by the news stories, Whiteness remained invisible while the threat toward Whiteness became pronounced. The Minutemen embraced Whiteness and literally policed its border, controlling the dialogue, and historically editing what did not fit with the established hegemonic narrative.
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.
Mary Kay Letourneau, a teacher who raped her 12-year-old student. We examined magazine coverage surrounding the event to determine what narratives were used to explain a crime that reversed the traditional roles of criminal and victim. We found that journalists relied on rape misconceptions and myths of proper (hetero)sexual roles, including the Good Mother and Princess in romantic fairy tales to tell the story.
The construction of this narrative erased the crime, turning rape into romance and (re)establishing masculine hegemony.
Co-author: Dr. Dustin Harp, University of Texas at Austin