Agenda Setting: the Media’s Role in Abolishing the Death Penalty in New Jersey

UNCP Author/Contributor (non-UNCP co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Tiffany Schmidt (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Pembroke (UNCP )
Web Site:
Anthony Curtis

Abstract: In 1976, the Supreme Court federally reinstated the death penalty. New Jersey became the 37th state to reinstate the death penalty in 1982, and Gov. Christine Whitman signed the death warrant for John Martini Sr. in 1999. By 2006, the state had a moratorium on the death penalty. On Dec. 17, 2007 Gov. Jon Corzine signed the bill that abolished the death penalty in New Jersey, making it the first state to repeal the practice since it was reinstated in 1976. Scholars have conducted decades of research on the mass media’s influence on public opinion. The following is a content analysis study to look at how agenda setting can influence public opinion and lead to policy change. Specifically, the study discusses how newspapers reported the death penalty before its abolition in New Jersey. Through agenda setting, New Jersey print media led the public to think about the death penalty, which caused policy makers to look at change in legislation and led to the abolition.

Additional Information

Honors Project
Language: English
Date: 2010
Mass Media, Mass Media - Law and Legislation, Print Media, Agenda Setting, Mass Media and Public Opinion, Death Penalty - Law and Legislation, Capital Punishment - Law and Legislation

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