Relevant Thesis-Based Degree Programs
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Master's Student Supervision
Theses completed in 2010 or later are listed below. Please note that there is a 6-12 month delay to add the latest theses.
This thesis examines how four English-language Canadian news organizations reported on the Black Lives Matter protests that sprung up after the killing of George Floyd in 2020. A framing analysis of 55 articles from four news outlets in two of the countries’ largest English-speaking cities examined how the news media used language, framing, and sources to report on the protests. I coded for several key variables, including overall tone, sourcing, and the presence of marginalizing and legitimizing framing devices. This thesis found that all four news outlets were more likely to use an overall positive tone to frame the protests and protesters by emphasizing peacefulness and highlighting the underlying reason for the protests. The results replicated previous research on the Black Lives Matter protests by Elmasry and el-Nawawy (2017), which found that most of the news articles from their sample framed the protests positively. My findings also determined that government officials were quoted the same amount as protesters, while police were under-quoted compared to past research. Future research should continue to examine how the Canadian news media frames social protest movements to determine if this study's findings indicate a shift in the protest paradigm.
This research assesses the influence of identity in late-night political comedy. Academic literature on the subject of political satire does not yet explore the significance of hosts or comedians’ identity as an influential factor in the comedy they produce. Through analyzing how the gender identity of Samantha Bee and the racial identity of Hasan Minhaj influence the way they approach late-night political comedy, I showcase the importance of the host or comedians’ identity characteristics and personal perspective in determining the way they frame a particular issue to the audience. Using a qualitative discourse analysis and John Oliver as a comparative case study, this research looks at what discourses and narratives are legitimized and reinforced by each comedian in their coverage of issues pertaining to their identities of gender and race respectively. For Minhaj, his identity as a Muslim of Indian descent influences his comedy through references made about South Asian culture and being a Muslim in India. For Bee, a key target of her comedy is a female audience. This research aims to contribute to this gap in existing literature, arguing that while each comedian’s coverage covered a range of humour styles, Minhaj and Bee focus their attention on audiences who reflect communities that they are a part of, ultimately providing a more nuanced critique than that offered by that of a comedian not directly affected by the issue being covered on the late-night political show.
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