Dr. Alexa Dare
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
Citation: Pilot Scholars Version (Modified MLA Style)
Sievert, Hannah, "Photographing “Total Chaos”: A Visual Analysis of the New York Times’ Coverage of Mass Shootings" (2019). Communication Studies Undergraduate Publications, Presentations and Projects. 100.