Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Journalism & Strategic Media

Committee Chair

Stephanie Madden

Committee Member

Otis Sanford

Committee Member

Jin Yang


The purpose of this study is to examine trends in the coverage of crime stories in local broadcast television news. The data set is derived from WNCN’s evening news broadcasts from January through February 2018. The station’s broadcast was examined for the amount of crime stories that were aired in the newscast, types of crimes were committed, how they were described by the anchor, law enforcement and members of the community, and who committed them (the race of the criminal actors). Findings showed that while whites may have been underrepresented as criminal actors, non-whites’ representation in crime stories were on par with their representation within the market area. Interviews from newsroom employees revealed newsrooms try to eliminate bias by hiring individuals from a variety of backgrounds, creating open dialogue concerning diversity in the newsroom, and considering the effects of crime on their communities before deciding to air a crime-related story.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.