Honors College Theses

Date

2022

Major

Multimedia Journalism (B.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Dr. William Biebuyck

Abstract

The research in this paper is designed to explore the lack of media coverage of missing and murdered indigenous women through primarily qualitative methods and techniques as well as interpret the significance of the lack of coverage through the lens of a critical analysis. The research will address how the coverage of missing indigenous women qualitatively differs with the coverage received by missing white women in the United States and Canada. The research approaches include the analysis of news sources detailing cases of missing indigenous women and missing white women and how their coverage qualitatively differs, as well as a content analysis of two specific cases of one missing indigenous woman and one missing white woman who disappeared under very similar circumstances, yet had their cases covered in very different manners. The research analyzes research journals dedicated to missing and murdered indigenous women and how their lack of media coverage has impacted their communities. The results point to a disproportionate ratio of media coverage given to missing white women in a much larger capacity than missing indigenous women, as well as how this lack of coverage creates a perception that indigenous bodies are less valuable in Western societies. The results of this research are significant in the way that it calls attention to a media bias issue, as well as brings awareness to a widespread crisis of the brutality faced by indigenous women.

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