Media History: A Comparison of a Local Newspaper and Television Coverage of a Crime Story in Mid-20th Century America

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SAGE Research Methods Cases


This case study examines the coverage of a historic crime story by two local newspapers and a local television station and documents similarities and differences among the media coverage. Lipschultz and Hilt indicate that although not the most common, crime is the most covered type of story. Media history scholars need to highlight instances in which local TV stations and newspapers do an especially good job of covering certain kinds of stories which interest and have an impact on the public, in this case a high-profile crime story. Previous research indicates that people rely on local television and news to fully understand a story and to know about local crime, government, school issues, and politics.