151. Name: Lindsey Erin Blumell Title: Birds of a Feather: Gatekeeping Human Rights Online News Coverage via Traditional and Humanitarian News Media (AP, CNN, BBC, Reuters, Xinhua Newswire, and Al Jazeera) Institution: Texas Tech University Country: United States Date: 2016 Abstract: Raising awareness through news coverage placed journalists in an important role in the human rights process because of their ability to document history, inform the public, and inspire change. Due to developments in digital media, human rights organizations have also begun to produce news content, hiring journalists and applying news values to their coverage. Classifying these organizations as forms of humanitarian news media (HNM), this study compares how they and traditional news media (TNM) cover human rights. It utilizes gatekeeping theory to understand how HNM are winnowing down many human rights stories into their coverage. A content analysis of six TNM (AP, CNN, BBC, Reuters, Xinhua Newswire, and Al Jazeera) and three HNM (Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the U.N.) was conducted, in addition to ten in-depth interviews with media professionals who work for HNM to identify how these forces are considered within the content building process. Results showed that media coverage heavily focuses on civil and political rights for both TNM and HNM except for Xinhua and the U.N. There is also a lack of incorporating human rights framework into coverage.
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