Gender and Social Responsibility: A Comparison of Marcia Clark and Male Attorneys in Time and Newsweek.
Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Dr. Jeremy Lipschultz
Dr. Deborah Smith-Howell
Dr. Beverly Hagen
The purpose of this study was to compare Marcia Clark and the male attorneys as they were portrayed in Time and Newsweek during the O.J. Simpson "trial of the century." Focusing on gender and social responsibility, a qualitative analysis was made regarding sexism in these two newsweeklies. Clark was the lead prosecutor in the O.J. Simpson trial. Using Pingree et al. (1976) measurement of sexism in media; the news reporting on Clark's professional life was found to be similar to that of the male attorneys. But when comparing appearance and personal life, Clark was unequal to the male attorneys. She received more coverage than any of the other attorneys for her life as a single mother, personal information not relevant to understanding the "trial of the century." This case was a high-profile case due to the individuals involved. It was for this reason that America was fascinated with each daily report in all media. It left Americans spellbound for months. The study reviewed articles in the newsweeklies for nineteen months, June 1994 thru December 1995. This present study, although not an exact replication of Pingree et al. (1976), used their system to determine sexism in media. This study reviewed whether media were fair in the portrayal of Clark in her position as lead prosecutor. There is no study comparable to this one, although much has been written about the trial and the players. It is Clark's perception that there was such a thing as "Pink" versus "Blue" coverage. She was correct. Johnnie Cochran received more professional coverage and only a mention of a possible abusive history (which he denies). He was the lead defense attorney representing O.J. Simpson.
Costanzo, Mary Lou Moss, "Gender and Social Responsibility: A Comparison of Marcia Clark and Male Attorneys in Time and Newsweek." (1998). Student Work. 2997.
A Thesis Presented to the Department of Communication and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright 1998 Mary Lou Moss Costanzo.