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ERIC Number: EJ767439
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 17
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0161-6463
American Indians in the News: A Media Portrayal in Crime Articles
Freng, Adrienne
American Indian Culture and Research Journal, v31 n1 p21-37 2007
The purpose of this exploratory research is to investigate the identification of American Indians in crime articles in two South Dakota newspapers. This article seeks to expand the current literature by addressing the dearth of research regarding whether American Indians are differentially identified by race/ethnicity in crime accounts. In addition, how contextual factors might influence the identification of American Indians as "criminal" is examined, as evidenced by arrest rates, racial/ethnic conflict, and regional influences. Four questions related to the identification of American Indians were examined: (1) Are American Indians more likely than Euro-Americans to be identified as perpetrators in crime articles when race/ethnicity is mentioned? (2) Is the percentage of crime articles identifying American Indians similar to the percentage of American Indians arrested in the state of South Dakota? (3) Do periods of racial/ethnic conflict impact whether American Indians are identified in crime articles? and (4) Does geographical region affect the frequency of identification as indicated by differences between the "Rapid City Journal" and the Sioux Falls "Argus Leader?" Although this research explores many of the issues regarding the identification of American Indians in crime news, the results of this study indicate further areas for investigation. The findings seem to suggest that these two newspapers did not overtly contribute to the continuation of stereotypes linking American Indians with criminal behavior by identifying them more often than Euro-Americans. A more extensive examination of newspapers needs to be completed to explore whether the findings of nonidentification of perpetrators by race/ethnicity is an extensive practice used by all newspapers or just present in this case. (Contains 1 table and 72 notes.)
American Indian Studies Center at UCLA. 3220 Campbell Hall, Box 951548, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1548. Tel: 310-825-7315; Fax: 310-206-7060; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Dakota