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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Canadian news media coverage of the George Floyd protests : a content analysis Vlahiotis, Eleni Trena Stanton


This thesis examines how four English-language Canadian news organizations reported on the Black Lives Matter protests that sprung up after the killing of George Floyd in 2020. A framing analysis of 55 articles from four news outlets in two of the countries’ largest English-speaking cities examined how the news media used language, framing, and sources to report on the protests. I coded for several key variables, including overall tone, sourcing, and the presence of marginalizing and legitimizing framing devices. This thesis found that all four news outlets were more likely to use an overall positive tone to frame the protests and protesters by emphasizing peacefulness and highlighting the underlying reason for the protests. The results replicated previous research on the Black Lives Matter protests by Elmasry and el-Nawawy (2017), which found that most of the news articles from their sample framed the protests positively. My findings also determined that government officials were quoted the same amount as protesters, while police were under-quoted compared to past research. Future research should continue to examine how the Canadian news media frames social protest movements to determine if this study's findings indicate a shift in the protest paradigm.

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