Author Information

Amanda Fountain


In order to better understand the effect newspaper portrayal has on reader opinion, it is necessary to explore news framing and structure. This study investigated the relationship between newspaper portrayal, or framing, of rape cases and how that portrayal influences reader response and perception. To determine reader response, participants were asked to read one of three vignettes, each describing a rape with either a positive or negative description of the victim or assailant. This was followed by eight questions testing four factors: blame, responsibility, control and accountability. The results from the four factors illustrate the responses readers had for the story depending on the frame for the victim and the assailant. Ultimately, this study shows that portrayal does change reader response towards the victim and the assailant depending on the frame.

Note on the Author

Amanda Fountain wrote this piece under the mentorship of Dr. Arthur Lizie with the funding of an ATP summer grant.

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