Poster Title

Cascade Mall shooting: a comparative analysis of coverage

Research Mentor(s)

Sheila Webb

Affiliated Department

Journalism Studies

Sort Order

16

Start Date

18-5-2017 9:00 AM

End Date

18-5-2017 12:00 PM

Document Type

Event

Abstract

Mass shootings are something that need to be increasingly reported on in this day and age. They are a relatively new phenomena and, by nature, are entrenched in ethical questions. For this reason, I was interested in researching how news outlets approach and report on mass shootings. In this study, I examined a local incident, the Cascade Mall shooting in Burlington in which five individuals were shot down by a gunman within a Macy’s store. I compared coverage of the local Skagit Valley Herald and the larger, regional Seattle Times. I examined the type of sources used by the two news outlets as well as the content within each article. I wanted to find disparities in coverage as well as how they tailored their reporting to their different audiences; the Times has the largest readership in Washington State while the Herald covers only Skagit County. I read each article by the Skagit Valley Herald with content about the Cascade Mall shooting; 37 articles from September 23, 2016 when the event occurred until March 7, 2017. I did the same with the 24 articles published by the Seattle Times in the same time frame. This information is important because a mass shooting is a highly sensitive occurrence with increasing prevalence and I wanted to see if a larger newspaper would be comparable to a local one in its sensitivity, community coverage and approach.

Rights

Copying of this document in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this documentation for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author's written permission.

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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May 18th, 9:00 AM May 18th, 12:00 PM

Cascade Mall shooting: a comparative analysis of coverage

Journalism Studies

Mass shootings are something that need to be increasingly reported on in this day and age. They are a relatively new phenomena and, by nature, are entrenched in ethical questions. For this reason, I was interested in researching how news outlets approach and report on mass shootings. In this study, I examined a local incident, the Cascade Mall shooting in Burlington in which five individuals were shot down by a gunman within a Macy’s store. I compared coverage of the local Skagit Valley Herald and the larger, regional Seattle Times. I examined the type of sources used by the two news outlets as well as the content within each article. I wanted to find disparities in coverage as well as how they tailored their reporting to their different audiences; the Times has the largest readership in Washington State while the Herald covers only Skagit County. I read each article by the Skagit Valley Herald with content about the Cascade Mall shooting; 37 articles from September 23, 2016 when the event occurred until March 7, 2017. I did the same with the 24 articles published by the Seattle Times in the same time frame. This information is important because a mass shooting is a highly sensitive occurrence with increasing prevalence and I wanted to see if a larger newspaper would be comparable to a local one in its sensitivity, community coverage and approach.