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Agenda Setting Essay

881 words - 4 pages

Sequoia Bey
Introduction to Media Theory
Victim and the Media
This paper will talk about the murder of Trayvon Martin and his killer George Zimmerman. The news outlets taken into consideration are Fox News and MSNBC. In this essay, I will talk about framing, agenda setting, and who owns each of these news channels. Various websites and the class textbook will support all of this.
Agenda-setting hypothesis is to show how the media influences the public agenda. For example, if a newspaper has the same story on the cover everyday for the next week, growing more in-depth each time, this story becomes more prominent over stories on the third page of the paper. McCombs and Shaw started ...view middle of the document...

When the data was compared, the ranks of these issues were almost identical. McCombs and Shaw believed that the media was mainly responsible for the correlation between the media and public ordering of priorities.
In 2012, George Zimmerman in Florida killed Trayvon Martin, a seventeen-year-old black boy. Zimmerman claimed self-defense and wasn’t arrested for murder until six weeks later because of negative media attention. A year later, Zimmerman was found not guilty and released. Everyone over the country had two sides of this story. Zimmerman was racist and got off due to being white. Martin was a threat because of him being a young black man. This took a toll on how black people were seen in America.
Looking into each of the news outlets, MSNBC and Fox News, I started searching “Trayvon Martin” into each site’s search engine. I quickly realized that Fox News had 1,123 search results versus MSNBC had only 725 since hearing of Martin’s death 2 years ago. When taking in the amount of video searches that are conducted on Martin’s name: Fox News came to 425 videos and MSNBC came in with 171 videos under his name. MSNBC also conducted 4 polls regarding the Martin/Trayvon shooting.
A majority of the headlines on Fox News would use words such as “cleared”, “Not Guilty”, or used George Zimmerman’s name in headline regarding the verdict. MSNBC headlines would talk about Martin’s Legacy, how Zimmerman “got away with murder”, and how Stand Your Ground laws need to be changed. It seems like Martin is innocent in MSNBC’s eyes but Fox News was...

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