The Reporter's Gaze: Keying Frames about Lesbian and Gay Subjects in "The New York Times" since 1978 vol. 1
Strahan, Richard Keith
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Using data from 171 news reports that span the time period between 1978 to 2008, this dissertation shows how the writing staff of The New York Times deployed, generated, and keyed frameworks that directly impacted their readership's perception of the gay and lesbian community. This work adds to the growing body of literature on mass media providers' roles and responsibilities as framers of contentious topics. This work captures the oft overlooked, yet dynamic, relationship between news content generators, the objects of news reports and the public through the textual analysis of news stories. This dissertation will answer the following questions: 1) How do news reporters actively engage pre-existing social frames about gays and lesbians that were voiced or embedded in events being reported on? 2) Which keying techniques do they use to contain, bracket or intensify these frames? 3) Which factors, across the cases studied, influenced the framing and keying processes of news reporters? 4) What role does an audience play in shaping the tone and content of the frames being reported on and generated by news staff?