Home > Publications . Search All . Browse All . Country . Browse PSC Pubs . PSC Report Series

PSC In The News

RSS Feed icon

Bloomberg cites MTF data in story on CDC's anti-smoking ads for e-cigarettes

Bound says notion that foreign students are displacing U.S. students "isn't right"

Prescott says online option for access to court system can help equalize justice

Highlights

U-M ranked #1 in Sociology of Population by USN&WR's "Best Graduate Schools"

PAA 2015 Annual Meeting: Preliminary program and list of UM participants

ISR addition wins LEED Gold Certification

PSC Fall 2014 Newsletter now available

Next Brown Bag

Mon, March 23
Lundberg, State Care of the Elderly & Labor Supply of Adult Children

Rachel Best photo

Situation or Social Problem: The Influence of Events on Media Coverage of Homelessness.

Publication Abstract

Best, Rachel. 2010. "Situation or Social Problem: The Influence of Events on Media Coverage of Homelessness." Social Problems, 57(1): 74-91.

Despite a strong interest in media coverage of social problems, sociologists have failed to examine when and why news outlets present issues as problems in need of public action within short time periods. Through content analysis of 475 newspaper articles and negative binomial regression, I show that coverage of homelessness varies in the extent to which it presents homelessness as a social problem. The fact that not all news coverage discusses social problems challenges the claim that social problems necessarily compete for attention in a zero-sum game. I also examine the effects of three types of events (events promoted to the media by their actors and high- and low-profile events not promoted by their actors) on newspapers' likelihood of describing homelessness as a social problem. While previous researchers predicted that events not promoted by their actors would lead to media coverage that challenged the status quo, I find that actor-promoted events are much more likely to do so. This finding highlights the importance of institutionalized action in calling attention to social problems.

DOI:10.1525/sp.2010.57.1.74 (Full Text)

Country of focus: United States of America.

Browse | Search : All Pubs | Next