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Framing Protest: News Coverage of the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street Movements
Zinser, William J, Jr.

2014, MA, University of Cincinnati, Arts and Sciences: Sociology.
Abstract
In regards to contemporary, American political movements, the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street movement have both generated quite a bit of news coverage. In this thesis I examine what type of coverage each movement receive, determine how coverage differs across the two movements, and propose an explanation for the differences. There is an extensive sociological literature on news media, both in terms of institutional practices and media products. For the purpose of this project, the literature on media framing of protest movements is especially important. Drawing on a framework which employs McLeod and Hertog’s protest paradigm, Boykoff’s frames of dissent, and Iyengar’s distinction between episodic and thematic framing, this study uses a content analysis to discern if frames used by The New York Times and USA Today -when covering the Tea Party and Occupy movement- differ, and if so, how. The findings show that, overall, the Occupy movement receive less favorable coverage in that Occupy protesters are more likely to be represented as deviant in some way, whereas Tea Party activists are more likely to be represented as having credible political demands. These differences, I argue, are due to the Tea Party’s less threatening concerns to the capitalist system. These findings are helpful in understanding how media outlets which claim neutrality and objectivity still end up reinforcing the status quo by marginalizing movements that challenges the foundation upon which modern capitalist democracies are built.
Annulla Linders, Ph.D. (Committee Chair)
David Maume, Ph.D. (Committee Member)
73 p.

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Zinser, W. (2014). Framing Protest: News Coverage of the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street Movements. (Electronic Thesis or Dissertation). Retrieved from https://etd.ohiolink.edu/

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Zinser, William. "Framing Protest: News Coverage of the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street Movements." Electronic Thesis or Dissertation. University of Cincinnati, 2014. OhioLINK Electronic Theses and Dissertations Center. 22 Nov 2017.

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Zinser, William "Framing Protest: News Coverage of the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street Movements." Electronic Thesis or Dissertation. University of Cincinnati, 2014. https://etd.ohiolink.edu/

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