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Tones, topics, and frames: The role of gender and race in the media coverage of political candidates

Thesis type
(Project) M.A.
Date created
Studies on political candidates' media portrayals have generally focused on whether portrayals are gendered or racialized. I examine whether portrayals differ according to candidates' gender and race in 2019 Canadian federal election coverage. I use text analysis methods to analyze the tone of reporting and topics discussed in 3687 articles from major Canadian news sources. I also manually code a subsample of 100 articles to examine the framing of candidates. While I find no evidence of differences in tone, coverage of male candidates who are IBPOC is more likely to discuss "minority"/race-related topics. I also find that media more often frame candidates who are IBPOC in light of their race, associating them with voters' race or "minority" policy issues, and women candidates in light of their gender. This framing reinforces whiteness and maleness as neutral/"normal", othering underrepresented groups. Awareness of these biases helps us become better media consumers and creators.
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This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes.
Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: de Rooij, Eline A.
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