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Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)



First Advisor

Alan Ray

First Committee Member

Jon F. Schamber

Second Committee Member

Qingwen Dong


This study examines the news media's construction of protests. Previous research has found that the news media demonizes and marginalizes protests. Protesters are framed in a highly negative fashion and primarily categorized as "violent." This study employed focus groups, agenda setting and framing theories to analyze this phenomenon. Previous research has been primarily quantitative in nature and thus qualitative research will provide a more in-depth understanding of this phenomenon. This study supports the findings of prior research but offers new insights. The implications of this study suggests that the news media can influence what people think about and how they think about it. Additionally, the news media frame protesters in a negative manner. Protesters are framed as violent and deviant. This negative framing both helps and hurts the protesters' cause. Lastly, this study found the news media to maintain the status quo in this society



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