News sources and the civil rights act of 1990

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4 Scopus citations


This study focuses on a topic for which news source diversity should be inherent: the reporting of civil rights legislation. A content analysis was conducted of all articles on the Civil Rights Act of 1990 published during 1990 in the Washington Post and the Atlanta Constitution. A total of 74 stories were coded for variables including source, affiliation, and description of the act The findings of the study are congruent with earlier research— journalists tend to rely on official sources and bureaucratic definitions of news. Civil rights groups were attributed less frequently than were official sources, and White House sources were the most commonly cited sources. News stories on the Civil Rights Act of 1990 tended to be linked to bureaucratic events, with most stories pegged on White House and Senate activity. Although the administration was successful in framing the act as a “quota bill,”; other descriptions made their way into the media, and editorials supported the legislation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-194
Number of pages12
JournalHoward Journal of Communications
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • Civil rights
  • Civil rights act of 1990
  • Legislative coverage
  • Minorities
  • News gathering
  • News sources

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Strategy and Management


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