What Do You Read?: Comparing Online and Traditional News Media Coverage of Social Movements
Gibbons, Ethan Paul
Much has been made in the public discourse of the media’s involvement in the polarization of politics in the United States. This study analyzes variations in coverage of activists, law enforcement, and corporations involved in the protests of the Standing Rock Sioux against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. This study seeks to synthesize the contributions of political economy, work and professions, and social movements frameworks. It analyzes differences between outlets using an online-traditional as well as a right-left comparison. Results indicate that online outlets may be more critical in their coverage of state and corporate actors. In addition, results indicate significant variation in how social movement activists are covered, particularly along the right-left polarity.