Submission Title

Not Our Son, Not Our Town: Media Coverage and the Mass School Shooting Epidemic

Presenter Information

Katelyn Pendley, Gonzaga University

Session Number

RS4

Location

Weyerhaeuser 305

Abstract Number

RS4-b

Abstract

Marysville, Washington; Red Lake, Minnesota; Jonesboro, Arkansas; Springfield, Oregon; Chardon, Ohio; these racially, geographically, and politically diverse cities all have one thing in common: they are all locations of mass school shootings. When horrendous events like these occur, people often turn to the media to find answers. The media subsequently formulate narratives in order to answer such questions. As a main source of information, these narratives construct reality for much of the American public, and therefore, are important to consider when studying and analyzing school shootings. For this project I used content analysis to examine the themes and concepts, including descriptions of shooters, schools, communities, and culture highlighted by the media in newspaper reports of five mass school shootings. My main research question was: what details, themes, or concepts have become normalized or exceptionalized by the national and state media in their coverage of mass school shootings?

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Apr 23rd, 9:00 AM Apr 23rd, 10:30 AM

Not Our Son, Not Our Town: Media Coverage and the Mass School Shooting Epidemic

Weyerhaeuser 305

Marysville, Washington; Red Lake, Minnesota; Jonesboro, Arkansas; Springfield, Oregon; Chardon, Ohio; these racially, geographically, and politically diverse cities all have one thing in common: they are all locations of mass school shootings. When horrendous events like these occur, people often turn to the media to find answers. The media subsequently formulate narratives in order to answer such questions. As a main source of information, these narratives construct reality for much of the American public, and therefore, are important to consider when studying and analyzing school shootings. For this project I used content analysis to examine the themes and concepts, including descriptions of shooters, schools, communities, and culture highlighted by the media in newspaper reports of five mass school shootings. My main research question was: what details, themes, or concepts have become normalized or exceptionalized by the national and state media in their coverage of mass school shootings?