This study employs a mixed methods approach, combining a quantitative survey and qualitative interviews to gain a comprehensive understanding of how the use of TV or online news sources can affect one's opinion of police reform. The theoretical framework guiding this research draws upon Critical Race Theory, controlling images in the media, and the Propaganda Model of Communication. By centering Critical Race Theory, the study examines how race and power dynamics intersect with individuals' media consumption and influence their attitudes toward police reform. It acknowledges that news media representations of incidents of police brutality play a crucial role in shaping public opinion, particularly concerning marginalized communities affected by policing practices. Additionally, the Propaganda Model of Communication provides a lens to analyze the media landscape's underlying structural biases and the potential impact on individuals' opinions. This model helps reveal how corporate interests and ideological factors may shape the content presented by TV news outlets, working in the interest of the institution of policing. While the quantitative survey results yielded statistically insignificant findings, the qualitative interviews offer valuable insights into the nuanced complexities surrounding media consumption and its impact on attitudes toward police reform. The interviews reveal that online news sources provide a more democratized platform, offering diverse perspectives which led to a belief in systemic changes to policing. Additionally, interviews uncovered how TV news uses racial stereotypes and superficial news stories to create a "bad apples" ideology.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Campus-only Access)
Spencer, Halley, "TV News Networks vs Online News Sources: Contrasting Effects on Attitudes Towards Police Reform" (2023). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 1755.
Restricted to the UCF community until August 2026; it will then be open access.