Research Papers

Walking Justice: Media Power, Domestic Violence and Word Usage in the Peggy Jackson Case

In 2013, Peggy Jackson was granted clemency after serving 26 years of her life sentence. Jackson was an abused farmer’s wife when she suddenly found herself on trial for her husband’s murder. A judge told her during her sentencing that her actions led to the demise of “a good provider.” This paper looks at the news content surrounding the local coverage of both Jackson’s murder trial and her granted clemency. I also offer suggestions of how the media may better cover issues surrounding domestic violence. Written for Media Ethics, May 2013

How Rod Blagojevich Manipulated the Media Before, During and After His Federal Trials pdf

Disgraced former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich nabbed national headlines after he was charged with federal corruption. The media blitz he created represented an attempt to portray his legal defense into the public realm and repeat the message in whatever format would allow him. This paper examines various news reports from a journalistic point of view, and it also explains how the media were — and arguably still are — willing participants in the Blagojevich saga. Published: Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, SIUC, September 2012

Gatekeeping and Negotiating News Inside the Lifestyles Pages (In Progress)

Determining space for free and paid engagement announcements for gay and lesbian couples has been a issue that has been played out in the media for a number of years. Even as polls indicate a majority of respondents are reportedly in favor of a federal law permitting same-sex marriage, several publications have continued to deny access inside its lifestyles pages. This paper explores the gendered history of publishing engagement announcements and lifestyles sections in newspapers, discusses the literature surrounding discrimination and First Amendment, and analyzes the reasoning some editors have used to deny same-sex wedding announcements. Projected Finish Date: Summer 2015. A section of this paper was presented at the 2015 Women, Gender and Sexual Studies Conference at SIUC in March 2015