The Role of Race and Class in Local Media Coverage of Utah's Opioid Epidemic
This project’s aim is to increase understanding of the role that demographic factors like race and class play in news coverage of Utah’s opioid epidemic. I begin by reviewing literature on the role race and class has played in national media coverage of the crack cocaine epidemic of the 1980s and 1990s and other social crises, and then conduct original research on Utah’s opioid epidemic by looking at local newspapers and broadcasts. Specifically, I look at 64 news stories from six major local media outlets. This project revealed seven general themes in local media coverage, including an emphasis on the way middle-class and white demographics are affected by the opioid epidemic.
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