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Title From Man to Monster: A case study of The Mercury’s news framing of Martin Bryant and the Port Arthur massacre
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Publication Date
University/Publisher University of Tasmania
Abstract This thesis seeks to explore a framing analysis of the 1996 Port Arthur massacre with specific emphasis on the identity constructions of its perpetrator, Martin Bryant. It will do this with a framing analysis in order to examine how the local Tasmanian newspaper, The Mercury, framed Martin Bryant from the moment reporting of the massacre began on 29 April, up until Martin Bryant’s conviction on 23 November, 1996. This thesis demonstrates that Martin Bryant was subjectively framed in The Mercury’s news reports as a consequence of being labelled as a violent, mentally ill mass murderer, which may have had potential ‘framing effects’ on public perceptions of the Port Arthur massacre, its perpetrator and the concepts of ‘mental illness’ and ‘criminality’.
Subjects/Keywords Port Arthur massacre; Martin Bryant; framing; shootings; crime; Rigoli; Enrica
Language en
Country of Publication au
Format application/pdf
Record ID oai:eprints.utas.edu.au:17621
Other Identifiers Rigoli, E 2013 , 'From Man to Monster: A case study of The Mercury’s news framing of Martin Bryant and the Port Arthur massacre', Honours thesis, University of Tasmania.
Repository tasmania
Date Retrieved
Date Indexed 2018-06-27

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…photograph is iconic in its portrayal of the perpetrator of the shootings at Port Arthur. Martin Bryant became the name linked to tragedy at Port Arthur, adding to the already haunting history of the convict site. These personal experiences have inspired me…

…massacre, local and national media turned its attention to the story behind the massacre – a narrative about the perpetrator of the shootings. Martin Bryant therefore became one of the most prominent figures in news reports of the massacre from 29 April to…

…specific emphasis on the constructions of the identity of Martin Bryant in The Mercury’s news reports, in an attempt to address the following research questions: 1. How was the Port Arthur massacre represented in the local newspaper, The Mercury…

…immediately after the event until the conviction of its perpetrator Martin Bryant? 2. Which news frames were most dominant over this period? Did these news frames remain dominant or did they evolve over time? 3. How was Martin Bryant’s subjectivity framed as a…

…consequence? 4. What potential ‘framing effects’ might this news media coverage have had on public perceptions of the Port Arthur massacre and Martin Bryant, in particular? 2 5. What can these critical observations contribute to broader discussions of the…

…mediated representation of crime and criminality? The thesis aims to address these questions via a comprehensive study of the news framing of Martin Bryant as the perpetrator of the Port Arthur massacre. Discussion of the findings of this analysis is based…

…framing analysis of the constructions of Martin Bryant’s subjectivity in the press at the time and following the Port Arthur massacre has not been previously conducted. To analyse the constructions of the identity of Martin Bryant, this thesis is…

…Arthur massacre and Martin Bryant. This is followed by a Methodology chapter, which discusses the research methods used for this study. The findings of the research are then discussed in a Data Analysis chapter, which is followed by a concluding chapter…

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