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Misrepresentations of Lone Shooters: The Disparate Treatment of Muslim, African American, Hispanic, Asian, and White Perpetrators in the US News Media

DOI: 10.4236/ajc.2017.52010, PP. 162-181

Keywords: Lone Shooters, Tragic and Violent News, Portrayals of Minorities in News Stories about Crime

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Abstract:

The purpose of the present study is to determine how news stories about mass shootings are framed when reporting on a lone shooter. Data obtained revealed specific biases in news stories about mass shootings and perpetrators of color. National print media included in the study were USA Today, the Washington Post, The New York Times, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and the Los Angeles Times. Data shows that of the N = 170 stories, 75% of the stories involving a white shooter included the word or references to hero while shootings that involved lone shooters of color using the hero was found in 25% of the stories (P < .001). Results from this research are discussed in terms of their implications and significance for future research.

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