Title page for ETD etd-07102006-130303

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Brunken, Brigette Lynn
Author's Email Address bbrunk1@lsu.edu
URN etd-07102006-130303
Title Hurricane Katrina: A Content Analysis of Media Framing, Attribute Agenda Setting and Tone of Government Response
Degree Master of Mass Communication (M.M.C.)
Department Mass Communication
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
David Kurpius Committee Chair
Andrea Miller Committee Member
Jinx Broussard Committee Member
Kaye Trammell Committee Member
  • frames
  • topics
  • agenda setting
  • valence
  • natural disaster
Date of Defense 2006-06-06
Availability unrestricted
This study content analyzed print media coverage of government response from four newspapers in the five weeks immediately after Hurricane Katrina, looking for common frames, attribute agenda setting, and tone. In addition, it assessed week-to-week differences throughout coverage. Findings indicate that the order of Semetko and Valkenburg's (2000) common frames changed, emphasizing human interest first. Conflict, attribution of responsibility, economic consequences, and morality frames followed. Media's use of attribute agenda setting was evident throughout coverage, primarily emphasizing the issues, relief and rescue, economic, negative timeliness, and rebuilding and repairing. Media's tone of government response was moderately neutral with federal tone covered more positively, and local tone covered more negatively. Frames and issue attribute varied throughout coverage, however, tone did not. This study recognized media's use of framing, attribute agenda setting, and tone, thereby offering a better understanding of how print media portray government response during a natural disaster.
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