Qualitative content analysis

Purpose: The media is an important actor when it comes to shaping the public’s view on the criminal justice system. It can be argued that when more true crime news is consumed, the more the misunderstanding on crime and the criminal justice system increases. This thesis will investigate the construction of crime news
surrounding one true crime documentary, with a focus on the role of the media in societal discussions. Recent true crime documentaries have enticed much
discussion and therefore it is of interest to see the role the mainstream media takes on when reporting on the story in the documentary.
Theory: This thesis makes use of the framing theory and investigates frames used by the media for the documentary Making a Murderer. Furthermore, it will investigate the news value of reporting on the documentary.
Method: A qualitative content analysis is conducted to investigate reporting on the documentary by two different newspapers, the New York Post and the
Washington Post.
Result: To a limited extent the media uses the documentary Making a Murderer to frame broader societal issues. The themes that emerged from the analysis are mostly the same themes that occurred in the documentary: wrongful convictions, false
confessions and criminal justice. However, there are also some broader perspectives on the societal issues that the media reports on.

Maria Jozina Stam
Journalist, MIJ-uppsats , vt19
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