Protest or Riot?: The Role of News Media in Characterizing the Unrest in Ferguson

April 5, 2021   /  

Student Name: Emma Reiner
Major(s): Political Science (concentration in US Politics) and English
Advisor(s): Dr. Désirée Weber and Dr. Susanna Sacks

This project focuses on how the terms “protest” and “riot” are used in articles about the Ferguson protests in 2014. Michael Brown was shot in August of 2014, resulting in protests against police brutality and racial injustice. Past research shows that the news media describe protests and riots negatively. I will be using a mixed methods approach, using both quantitative and qualitative analyses. The quantitative analysis showed that the terms were used similarly, while the qualitative analysis showed that the terms were used differently. This project is important to how we discuss other protests about police brutality, such as the ones that occurred in the summer of 2020.

Emma will be online to field comments on April 16: 2-4 pm EDT (PST 11am-1pm, Africa/Europe: evening).