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Narratives of Guilt: Television News Magazine Coverage of the O. J. Simpson Criminal Trial

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Abstract:

This content analysis investigated the fairness with which O. J. Simpson was presented to the television news magazine audience during a six-month period (October 1, 1994, to March 31, 1995) before the criminal trial verdict. Eight traditional news magazine programs were analyzed. Results indicate that the Simpson case featured prominently in news magazine content and that Simpson was presented as the evil and psychologically unstable murderer of Nicole Simpson and Ronald Goldman long before the jury reached a verdict. Contradicting the arguments of the Simpson defense team, news magazine stories presented the criminal justice system as the good force in this story's narrative framing of the struggle between good and evil.

Keywords: GENDER; MORALITY; NARRATIVE; NEWS COVERAGE

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/106461700246706

Publication date: January 1, 2000

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