Date of Award

Summer 7-6-2012

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Patricia Davis

Second Advisor

Natalie Tindall

Third Advisor

Hongmei Li


On January 12, 2010, the Caribbean nation of Haiti suffered from one of the most devastating earthquake in recent history. The purpose of this study is to explore representations of Haiti in Western news media coverage of the disaster. The researcher utilized Jiwani’s (2006) theoretical framework of common sense stock knowledge to explore the relationship between the Western news media and Haiti, with an emphasis on media framing. Additionally, the method of journalistic discourse analysis was employed as a means of analyzing the 90 article sample. The researcher found that there were several frames that dominated coverage of the disaster which resulted in the marginalization of Haiti and Haitians.