Framing Occupy Wall Street: A Content Analysis of The New York Times and USA Today

Kaibin Xu


Previous research has shown that media coverage of social protests tended to frame domestic protest activities in various negative ways. This study proposed a typology of six framing/marginalization devices to media coverage of Occupy Wall Street that started in New York in September 2011. Through a combination of content analysis and logistic regression analyses, this study found that lawlessness, official sources, show, and ineffective goals are the most widely used marginalization devices in reporting OWS, and that five out of the six devices are associated with the overall tone of the coverage of the protest groups—public disapproval is the most explanatory device, followed by negative impact, show, ineffective goals, and lawlessness. These five framing devices as a whole can explain 65.5% of the variability of the overall tone.


Occupy Wall Street, protest groups, framing, marginalization devices, content analysis, logistic regression

Full Text: