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Published on July 9th, 2016 | by EJC


One Twitter User’s Frame-By-Frame Analysis Of The Dallas Shooting Media Coverage

This article was written by Georgia Popplewell and originally published at Global Voices on 8 July, 2016. Republished with permission.

Social networks have been buzzing today with news of the July 7 shootings of police officers and civilians at a Dallas, Texas protest against the extrajudicial killings of Alton Sterling and Philander Castile earlier this week. Instead of just following and commenting on the news, however, Trinidad and Tobago twitter user @battymamzelle decided go deeper. “I think that’s what I’ll do today,” she tweeted. “Point out news frames and how they slant the story.”

Here are some excerpts from @battymamzelle’s running commentary.


Riffing also off tweets from other users, @battymamzelle highlighted features of the Dallas media coverage such as the comparison of the killings with 9/11, although “police were not the main target of 9/11“.


The characterisation of the Black Lives Matter movement as a terrorist organisation:


The positioning of the shooter as “militant and anti-police” by selecting a photo of him wearing a dashiki instead of his army uniform:


And the repeated use of the shooter’s middle name—”Xavier”—arguably to link him with Malcolm X:


The New York Daily News’ was singled out for special mention, on account of the last-minute replacement of its original cover—which featured the names of black victims of police violence—with one about the Dallas events:


@battmamzelle staved off accusations of rabble-rousing by reminding the Twitterers of her credentials:


Follow along or read the archive of @battymamzelle’s Twitter dialogue here.

About the Author:

Georgia Popplewell is Global Voices’ Managing Director. She is a media producer and writer from Trinidad and Tobago, and has worked in independent media in the Caribbean and elsewhere since 1989, covering areas such as culture, music, film and sport. In 2005, she started Caribbean Free Radio, the Caribbean’s first podcast. Follow on Twitter: @georgiap

Image: Adam Simmons.

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