Hannah Sievert

Publication Date

Spring 2019

Faculty Advisor

Dr. Alexa Dare


Communication Studies


College of Arts and Sciences


This research examines the New York Times’ visual coverage of four of the largest mass shootings that have occurred in the United States in the past four years: the Parkland High School shooting on Feb. 14, 2018 (17 victims); the Sutherland Springs Church shooting on Nov. 5, 2017 (25 victims); the Las Vegas shooting on Oct. 1, 2017 (58 victims); and the Pulse Nightclub shooting on June 12, 2016 (49 victims). The aim of this study is to understand how the New York Times visually frames mass shootings. This study utilizes framing theory, which suggests that how journalists frame events have lasting impacts on how the public understands the causes and results of those events. With a discourse analysis method, this research found consistent themes across front page photos as well as online photos and videos associated with each event. The analysis revealed that the New York Times frames mass shootings using six major themes: everyday places, collective fear, collective pain, youth, responsibility, and authority. These themes suggests what readers of the New York Times will come to understand and believe about mass shootings through the New York Times’ coverage.

Author Supplied Keywords

Mass shootings, Framing theory, Gun violence, Journalism


Reporters and reporting; Visual communication; Journalism, Pictorial; Mass shootings--Press coverage

Publication Information

Communication Studies Capstone Project.

Copyright for this work is retained by the author.

Document Type

Student Project