Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date


Publication Source

Impact of Communication and the Media on Ethnic Conflict


The purpose of this chapter is to examine newspaper coverage of the George Zimmerman-Trayvon Martin shooting and the frames of race and crime used in the context of newsworthiness. The researchers analyzed 1,177 articles in one local, six statewide, and three national newspapers. The local paper focused on the shooting and the ensuing police investigation instead of social and political issues, and local-interest stories instead of national events. There was virtually no mention of race. Coverage in the six Florida papers was mixed between details of the case and social issues such as Florida's Stand Your Ground law. There were few uses of racial descriptors. The three national papers focused on social and political issues such as Stand Your Ground, guns, and race, and referenced the shooting for context when discussing similar local incidents. Racial identifiers were used frequently, and Martin's clothing was referenced as a covert racial identifier or as shorthand for the shooting and its aftermath. The researchers then discuss the ethical implications of such coverage.

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IGI Global

Place of Publication

Hershey, PA

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