Race and police brutality: The importance of media framing

Kim Fridkin, Amanda Wintersieck, Jillian Courey, Joshua Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This article explores how the framing of a violent confrontation between a White police officer and an African American woman affects people's perceptions of the incident. First, we conduct a content analysis of every news article published about the encounter over a three-month period. We use the content analysis to identify the major frames employed by the news media when reporting the event. We find that the news media relied on three frames: police brutality, law and order, and race. We embed these frames into an original experiment to determine how the alternative frames affect citizens' attitudes and perceptions of the incident. Exposure to the law and order frame and the police brutality frame significantly influences support for the White police officer and African American woman. Finally, alterations in the framing of the confrontation influence people's beliefs about the problem of racism in law enforcement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3394-3414
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Communication
Volume11
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

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Law enforcement
law and order
police
news
police officer
content analysis
incident
law enforcement
racism
citizen
event
experiment
American
Experiments

Keywords

  • Media effects
  • Police brutality
  • Race framing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication

Cite this

Fridkin, K., Wintersieck, A., Courey, J., & Thompson, J. (2017). Race and police brutality: The importance of media framing. International Journal of Communication, 11, 3394-3414.

Race and police brutality : The importance of media framing. / Fridkin, Kim; Wintersieck, Amanda; Courey, Jillian; Thompson, Joshua.

In: International Journal of Communication, Vol. 11, 01.01.2017, p. 3394-3414.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Fridkin, K, Wintersieck, A, Courey, J & Thompson, J 2017, 'Race and police brutality: The importance of media framing', International Journal of Communication, vol. 11, pp. 3394-3414.
Fridkin, Kim ; Wintersieck, Amanda ; Courey, Jillian ; Thompson, Joshua. / Race and police brutality : The importance of media framing. In: International Journal of Communication. 2017 ; Vol. 11. pp. 3394-3414.
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