The Morality of May 2, 2011: A Content Anaylsis of US Headlines Regarding the Death of Osama bin Laden

Nicholas Bowman, Robert J. Lewis, Ron Tamborini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Following the death of Osama bin Laden in the late hours of May 1, 2011, many print newspapers throughout the United States and the world ran front-page coverage of his death the following day. Although public support for bin Laden's death was largely consistent, newspaper headlines across the country varied in their presentation of the story, from “Got the Bastard!” to a more stoic “bin Laden dead.” Content analysis derived from the model of intuitive morality and exemplars (MIME) was applied to explain variance in headlines as a function of the dominant political philosophy found in different areas of the United States—philosophies rooted in moral salience structures. The MIME suggests a reciprocal relationship between basic motivations underlying moral judgment for distinct audiences and media content produced for those audiences. Consistent with predictions, findings suggest that newspapers in conservative-leaning regions presented the story as a patriotic “killing” (an emphasis o
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)639-664
JournalDefault journal
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The Morality of May 2, 2011: A Content Anaylsis of US Headlines Regarding the Death of Osama bin Laden'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this