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Media Coverage and Solidarity after Tragedies: The Reporting of School Shootings in Two Nations*

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image of Comparative Sociology
For content published from 1960-2001, see International Journal of Comparative Sociology.

AbstractAlthough considerable research analyzes the media coverage of school shootings, there is a lack of cross-national comparative studies. Yet, a cross-national comparison of the media coverage of school shootings can provide insight into how this coverage can affect communities. Our research focuses on the reporting of the school shootings at Virginia Tech in the U.S. and Jokela and Kauhajoki in Finland. Using 491 articles from the New York Times and Helsingin Sanomat published within a month of each shooting we investigate how reports vary between the nations and among the tragedies. We investigate if one style of framing a tragedy, the use of a “tragic frame,” may contribute to differences in the communities’ response to the events.


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