Sam Babin

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Cassidy, William P. (William Patrick), 1960-

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Communication


American newspapers; Science news--Press coverage--United States; News media coverage of science--United States


This study investigated how the field of science is framed by the United States news media. One full year's (i.e., 2014) worth of science news from four newspapers (i.e., two prestige newspapers, The New York Times and The Washington Post, and two high-circulation newspapers, The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Minneapolis Star Tribune) was gathered and content analyzed in an attempt to determine the distribution of positive, negative, and neutral/ambiguous science news and to compare these distributions in different types of newspapers. Results of a content analysis of 425 (N=425) science news articles indicated that there were no statistically significant differences between the two newspaper groups (i.e., prestige and high-circulation newspapers) or between the four individual newspapers in terms of their distributions of positive, negative, and neutral/ambiguous science news articles. This study did result with the general observation that there was a large amount of positive and neutral/ambiguous science news and a small amount of negative science news in all four newspapers. An interesting finding of this study is that there was a much larger amount of science news in prestige newspapers (i.e., in 2014, there were 984 science news articles in the prestige newspapers under investigation) than there was in high-circulation papers (i.e., in 2014, there were 179 science news articles in the high-circulation newspapers under investigation).


Advisors: Bill P. Cassidy.||Committee members: David J. Gunkel; Mary Linn Henningsen.||Includes bibliographical references.


iii, 44 pages




Northern Illinois University

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