Sproles codes Ferguson frames

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Senior John Sproles’ chose to focus his project on the incident in Ferguson, Miss., involving the fatal police shooting of African-American 18-year-old Michael Brown, which garnered both national and international attention.

He analyzed various print media between the time of the shooting in August through December 2014.

He looked at how both national and local news covered this incident, as well the St. Louis’ grand jury decision to not indict officer

Darin Wilson.
He also looked at the

climate, or state, of Ferguson before the incident and protests began.

“That would be another Senior project waiting to happen,” he said.

By looking at the source of quotes for newspapers such as the Washington Post, The New York Times and USA Today, Sproles discovered that the national news coverage had quotes from equal parts police officers and protesters.

He also coded more than 70 articles with codes such as “peaceful protests” and “looting and violence.” Through this coding, he found that much of the local news

was framed with a more racist view and negative view of the police.

Yet, the national news was evenly framed.

Sproles would like to write for a newspaper someday. He thought it was important as a journalist to not only report with integrity and give accurate information, but to also give the whole picture and be fair by getting information from multiple

credible sources.
Sproles said he would

also be interested to look at how the broadcast media framed this event.

He would be excited to see how that compares with his analysis of print media.


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