Between the Lines: Media Coverage of Orlando and Beyond

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Abstract

The relative unresponsiveness of the news media to the racism and homophobia of the Orlando shootings was deeply disturbing to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. The focus on terrorism and gun control (major topics in the 2016 presidential campaign) neglected the fact that this massacre was a hate crime. This article describes some of the fundamentals involved in the process of reporting the news and decision-making in the media that likely contributed to the narrow reporting of this tragedy. It also addresses heteronormativity, the impact of neglecting to highlight racism and homophobia in this shooting, and what might have been gained by more appropriate interpretation of the shooting as a hate crime. Additional suggestions are also offered regarding the roles that psychologists can play.

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