Master of Mass Communication (MMC)


Mass Communication

Document Type



Since the inception of Freedom’s Journal in 1827, the black press has sought to elevate the black community as well as advocate for civil rights and justice. This thesis examines news coverage in the Chicago Defender, a prominent black newspaper that has created a public sphere for the black community. Specifically, this research reveals whether the newspaper framed Reverend Jesse Jackson’s 1988 campaign differently from President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign. Furthermore, this thesis sought to reveal how a well-known black newspaper provided meaning for its readers about two black presidential candidates who adopted disparate political messages in order to appeal to American citizens. The thesis utilizes framing theory in order to understand how the newspaper covered Reverend Jackson and Senator Obama, and it employed a qualitative analysis methodology. Discourse analysis—a method that falls under qualitative research—was employed in order to examine words, sentences, phrases and tone. The findings illustrate that the Defender attempted to support and elevate Reverend Jackson, but showed skepticism about his ability to win the Democratic presidential nomination. On the contrary, the newspaper overwhelmingly supported Senator Obama, using his candidacy to elevate the black community.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Broussard, Jinx C.