First Advisor

Leslie Good

Term of Graduation

Fall 1992

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Speech Communication


Speech Communication




AIDS (Disease) in mass media, Journalism -- Objectivity -- United States



Physical Description

1 online resource (2, iv, 87 pages)


This thesis examines the reporting of AIDS-related news in both mainstream and alternative newspapers. This research suggests that mainstream newspapers, such as the New York Times, frame news stories in certain ways. Specifically, this study suggests that news about AIDS will be framed in ways which trivialize and/or marginalize those most affected by AIDS. The thesis also posits that the mainstream press will frame AIDS-related news in ways which support their own interests. Additionally, this research suggests that alternative presses, such as the Advocate, will frame their reporting of AIDS-related news in ways which support their interests.

The mainstream newspaper articles for this study were taken from the New York Times, and the Oregonian. The alternative press articles were taken from the Advocate, the New York Native, Christopher Street, Outlook, and the San Francisco Bay Area Reporter. The news stories focus on four individuals: Magic Johnson, Rock Hudson, Kimberly Bergalis, and Mark Woodley.

The results of this thesis reveal that some mainstream reporting of AIDS-related news is framed in ways which trivialize and/or marginalize those affected by AIDS. The study also shows that the alternative presses frame reporting of AIDS-related news in ways which not only support their interests but in ways which appear to react to the reporting of the mainstream presses. Finally, there is evidence of hegemony as an underlying principle for the way news about AIDS is framed.


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