Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Journalism

First Advisor

Robert Magee

Second Advisor

Kristen Swain

Third Advisor

Charles D. Mitchell

Relational Format



The University of Mississippi, a public institution also known as Ole Miss, is naturally of public interest and consequently is the subject of constant, and sometimes controversial, media coverage. Through the last few years, Ole Miss Athletics has garnered much of that media attention due to its recent successes. However, coverage at Ole Miss, independent of its athletic programs, gets media coverage in a much different way. Sometimes that coverage will involve academic achievements, large financial donations and campus changes. However, other types of coverage, especially over the last four years, have been controversial, dealing with student conduct issues and race-related incidents. The purpose of this study is to explore the types of coverage of Ole Miss that exist in Mississippi newspapers and to determine if the majority of news coverage is negative. An internal perception is that Ole Miss is subject to much more negative than positive coverage. However, a content analysis of 402 newspaper articles from Mississippi newspapers revealed that Ole Miss tended not to receive undue amounts of coverage that reflected negatively on the university. In fact, quite the opposite relationship emerged. The results of this study show journalists tend to frame Ole Miss is a positive light. From the sample of 402 articles, 293 (73%) dealt with non-controversial, positive topics such as research and accomplishment recognition.


Track: Academic



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