Submission Title

Columbine vs. Arapahoe: The Power of Media Framing

Presenter Information

Grady Foster, Gonzaga University

Session Number

RS3

Location

Robinson 229

Abstract Number

RS3-d

Abstract

In 2015 there were 372 gun-related acts of violence across the nation from Oregon to South Carolina. The shooting at a government-funded agency, which provides services and programs to adults with developmental disabilities, in San Bernardino, California resulted in the loss of 14 lives on December 2, 2015. The frequency of gun violence has made it such that shooting deaths are longer newsworthy to most Americans. The idea that gun violence has become normalized demands a new critical engagement in evaluating the portrayal of gun violence in the media. This paper offers a close textual analysis of print news media coverage of two school shootings 15 years apart to illustrate a shift in news reporting on the subject. The paper identifies a move from emphasis on the individual shooter to a failure in school policy, as the location of blame on the individual is no longer sufficient for the nation.

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Columbine vs. Arapahoe: The Power of Media Framing

Robinson 229

In 2015 there were 372 gun-related acts of violence across the nation from Oregon to South Carolina. The shooting at a government-funded agency, which provides services and programs to adults with developmental disabilities, in San Bernardino, California resulted in the loss of 14 lives on December 2, 2015. The frequency of gun violence has made it such that shooting deaths are longer newsworthy to most Americans. The idea that gun violence has become normalized demands a new critical engagement in evaluating the portrayal of gun violence in the media. This paper offers a close textual analysis of print news media coverage of two school shootings 15 years apart to illustrate a shift in news reporting on the subject. The paper identifies a move from emphasis on the individual shooter to a failure in school policy, as the location of blame on the individual is no longer sufficient for the nation.