Date of Award

Spring 2007

Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Communication

First Advisor

Turner, Lynn

Second Advisor

Garner, Ana

Third Advisor

Slattery, Karen

Abstract

This thesis is a product of my intense curiosity and intrigue of the media. Since my junior year at Homestead High School in Mequon, WI when I took a course in journalism, I have been enthralled with the mass media and its power over the public. I am fascinated by the strength of media messages and the influence one's voice has over the masses. It is with that curiosity that I have attempted to create a piece of literature of significance to the field of journalism. The subject of this thesis, rape coverage, is also of great importance to me as a woman. In doing preliminary research on the subject, I found that so many women are affected by this crime on a daily basis. This was startling and alarming to me, and deserved further attention. Since the media was so powerful, I saw it only fitting that I research a poignant and controversial topic affecting women, like rape coverage. By understanding the media portrayals of rape, one may further grasp why the crime is so damaging on those that are personally touched by it. Furthermore, this thesis may highlight how the media are potentially further hurting rape victims within the coverage. I think there is so much to be gained from understanding how our society can prevent harm from a professional and scholarly perspective.

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