transfer 23(1) » Medieninhalte

The Gun Debate in the United States of America after the Las Vegas Shooting

A quantitative analysis of the New York Times and the Sueddeutsche Zeitung

This thesis analyzes two of the most popular newspapers in America and Germany, respectively: The New York Times (NYT) and The Sueddeutsche Zeitung (SZ). The main research question investigates if there are any differences in the way the two media described the deadliest mass shooting in the modern American history – the Las Vegas Attack. A shooter opened fire on the 01.10.2017, killed 58 people and injured nearly 500 before taking his own life.

The thesis builds on a discussion of Framing Theory in connection with the research question. Via quantitative content analysis, coverage of the two newspapers regarding gun regulation in the US is examined to highlight the differences between the articles of the two newspapers. The main assumption was that the focus of the SZ’s articles would be gun regulation and restrictions; the NYT would rather concentrate on other measures than the total ban of firearms. The sample contains all the articles published during the first week after the shooting. Results include that the tenors of the articles differ with a high statistical significance.