A study of the New York Times' coverage of a poetic response to the Ocean Hill-Brownsville School conflict :
how a conflict can be framed by the media
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In the aftermath of a bitter, three-month-long teachers' strike, a New York City public school teacher read an anti-Semitic poem over the radio that was written by one of his students in response to the impact the strikes had on minority students. The city's wounds had barely healed from the strikes when the poem further escalated the existing conflict. This study explores how the New York Times covered the poem by identifying and analyzing the frames used in terms of how they suggested destructive or constructive conflict outcomes to readers. It analyzes newspaper stories and editorials using qualitative content analysis to identify frames, examine language used, sources included and context provided through a conflict theory lens. The findings mainly suggest that overall a destructive outcome was suggested to readers in regards to the conflict over the poem and therefore potentially the long-term outcomes of Ocean Hill-Brownsville. The most common uses of destructive outcome framing include emphasis of Jewish voices over blacks, singling out individual behaviors or voices as representative of a group thereby creating potential bias in readers, and emphasis on blaming.