Date of Award

Summer 2023

Document Type

Open Access Thesis


School of Journalism and Mass Communications

First Advisor

Robert McKeever


This research analyzes news articles about the killing of Walter Scott in 2015 to determine how frames changed over time and across platforms. Previous studies have found that news coverage of police violence against Black men has not always been fair. Instead, the narrative of official sources, like law enforcement, prove dominant. These same research articles typically focus on the way national news outlets frame incidents like Scott’s.

But this thesis takes a deeper look at how state newspapers framed Scott’s murder. I analyzed the frames and sources found in nearly 200 articles published by The Post and Courier and The State newspapers in South Carolina, plus The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, two of the nation’s most-circulated publications. Results were consistent with most prior research and showed that newspapers rely on official sources, and most coverage about police brutality is episodic. Dominant frames vary among individual incidents. There were little differences between local and national coverage.


© 2023, Shamira S. McCray