Media Framing of a Tragedy: A Content Analysis of Print Media Coverage of the Virginia Tech Tragedy

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On April 16, 2007, a gunman attacked the Virginia Tech (VT) campus killing 32 people, wounding 17 others, and tearing at the social fabric of the community. The deadliest school shooting in American history quickly attracted the media. As journalists from every major domestic and foreign media outlet reported on the events of April 16 and its aftermath, the world saw images of and read stories about fragile individuals, a shocked and grief-stricken student body, and a community united in its grief. Yet the media did more than simply tell the story of the tragedy: it gave opinions on its cause, pondered its consequences, offered advice for recovering from the event, and speculated on how to prevent such events in the future. But, was the story told the same way across the various outlets or did the media source influence the coverage? (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved)