Gehören Sie zu den Ersten, denen das gefällt!
The shooting of Michael Brown by a police officer cued an intense reaction from citizens, officials, and activists. Guided by the theory of indexing during “event-driven” news and the literature on protest coverage, this paper investigates the voices in the news following Brown’s shooting. A content analysis of five newspapers during the first cycle of protests analyzed three aspects of the media coverage of Ferguson. First, we assessed the reliance on official and nonofficial sources in the content published. Second, we tested the relationship between official and nonofficial sources to episodic or thematic coverage. Third, we tested the relationship between sources and the frames of the “protest paradigm,” a pattern of coverage emphasizing violence and deviant behavior. Findings reveal that nonofficial sources dominated the coverage after the shooting. But such sources challenged neither the episodic nature of the coverage nor negative portrayal of protestors. Therefore, our unique linking of the theory of indexing and protest coverage literature reveals that the nonofficial sources’ access is not enough to deter “protest paradigm” coverage. Frames emphasizing violence and clashes with the police were overwhelmingly more present than those emphasizing protestors’ grievances and demands. Our findings also reveal that frames emphasizing deviance prevailed more in the local newspaper than in national outlets. Overall, the predominance of nonofficial sources was not accompanied by thematic stories and critical viewpoints.