First Advisor

Cynthia-Lou Coleman

Date of Publication

Winter 3-7-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Communication






Racism in the press, Frames (Sociology), Crime and the press -- Case studies, Mass media and race relations, Denialism, Blame



Physical Description

1 online resource (vii, 129 pages)


This research examines how racism is hidden and denied by the press, and how blame is attributed to individuals in crime news stories. This research heavily relies of van Dijk's (2015) six discursive strategies to reveal how racism is hidden and denied in the press: positive self-presentation, denial and counter-attack, moral blackmail, subtle denials, mitigation, and defense and offense. Specifically, the Chapel Hill shooting is used as an example of a crime news story for my case study. This study will use framing as the primary method, and critical discourse analysis will be used to guide my interpretations of the frames. Frames are defined by Entman (1993) as texts that select "some aspects of a perceived reality and make them more salient" in such a way as to promote a particular problem definition, causal interpretation, moral evaluation, and/or treatment recommendation for the item described. I will examine words and phrases used when referring to the perpetrator and the victims in the crime story, and examine manifest frames. I begin by explicating terms that my research is founded upon: ideology, critical discourse analysis, race and racism, blame, and framing. Newspaper articles are collected and analyzed for van Dijk's six discursive strategies. The difference between national and regional news coverage is also examined. My findings suggest there are two gaps in van Dijk's six discursive strategies. I propose the addition of two discursive strategies that the press use to deny racism: negative self-presentation and contradiction.


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Persistent Identifier

Included in

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