Between two worlds: Native American representation in print media
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To understand the state of Native American representation at both a regional and national level in print journalism this research applied a thematic analysis to the news and feature articles of the Oregonian and the New York Times published between 2005-2012. Coding of stories was based upon the stereotypes identified by Miller and Ross (2004), including the degraded Indian, historic relic, good Indian, and generic outsider. While much of the media has been cleansed of the more blatant stereotypical terms, stereotypes are still manifested through more subtle themes that become salient frames through the dominant narratives. The results indicated that each of the while each of the frames were present in the published stories a majority of the articles from both newspapers emphasized the degraded Indian frame. Furthermore, while the Oregonian published articles on Native Americans with greater frequency (twice as many as the New York Times) the Times' articles were longer in column-inch length suggesting greater depth. Journalists use frames to make sense of the information they are communicating. By emphasizing particular topics over others through frequency and depth on Native American communities certain frames become more salient in the minds of readers. Thus, salience can lead to a one-dimensional representation of Native Americans in the media as those topics are most easily recalled.
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