Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media
This research analyzes local TV news coverage of three Nebraska executions in the 1990s, the first in the state since 1959. The three Nebraska executions allow us to see mass media coverage of the death penalty from four perspectives: 1) media organization routines, journalistic beliefs, and how source selection affected the content; 2) justice was portrayed through a consonant set of social symbols; 3) the public support for the death penalty in this country may have led journalists to avoid tough questioning of public officials; 4) the resulting coverage was a social construction of reality that might influence future public opinion. TV news reports emphasized the carnival-like atmosphere at the state penitentiary during two of the three executions.
Lipschultz, Jeremy Harris and Hilt, Michael L., "Mass Media and the Death Penalty: Social Construction of Three Nebraska Executions" (1999). Communication Faculty Publications. 66.