The Representation of Homelessness in the Nightly News

Abstract:

Inspired by previous political research that demonstrates the agenda setting capability of the news, and data from the U.S. conference of mayors that suggests the crisis of homelessness in America is increasing, the following research paper analyzes how well homelessness is represented in the nightly news. In order to measure the representation of homelessness, I applied the search keyword “homelessness” in Vanderbilt Database. I then compiled the data into tables, specifically focusing on the frequency of the term homelessness and the topics discussed in the different newscasts. After analyzing the data, I discussed the representation of homelessness in the nightly news and posed such questions as: Why is one societal ill such as crime overrepresented in the media while another ill such as homelessness is underrepresented? The paper concludes by offering a series of media strategies that may be undertaken to help increase coverage of homelessness in the nightly news.

Full Article (PDF):application/pdf iconEdward-Erikson-Representation-of-Homelessness.pdf

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