The portrayal of Governor Wallace and the Alabama two-year college system from 1963-1966: a content analysis of three Alabama newspapers

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University of Alabama Libraries

This dissertation explored the portrayal of Wallace in the media related to two-year college coverage in three Alabama newspapers from 1963-1966, his first term as governor. Focusing on three major frames: educational, economic, and political, a content analysis was conducted coding the use of these identified frames. The Civil Rights Act, passed on July 2, 1965, was defined as a pivotal event during this four-year period to determine if coverage changed before and after its passage. Results of the study showed that the amount of total articles about the two-year colleges (n=48) were equally distributed for the two time periods: 32.4% (n=22) before the Act was passed and 67.6% (n=46) afterwards. What did change were the master frames used and their frequencies. Educational frames were used 11.5% (n=3) of the time before the Act, and 88.5% (n=23) afterwards; whereas the use of economic and political frames were fairly consistent: 41.2% (n=7) and 58.8% (n=10) and 48.0% (n=12) and 52.0% (n=13), respectively. This suggests the Civil Rights Act was not a pivotal event in terms of coverage; however, it did affect how the news about two-year colleges in Alabama was framed from an educational opportunities perspective.

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Communication, Higher education, Journalism