This study compared the celebrity illegal drug overdose deaths of River Phoenix, Chris Farley, and Brad Renfro to the prescription drug overdose deaths of Anna Nicole Smith, Heath Ledger, and Brittany Murphy. This research used quantitative conceptual content analysis of news articles from The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, People, and Entertainment Weekly. This research discovered whether media used in this study framed prescription drug deaths more positively than illegal drug deaths, which was proved to be true. It also determined media did not employ socially responsible frames when reporting on these deaths. The last question in this research discovered if the type of drug involved in the celebrities' death influenced the way media portrayed the celebrities' character. This research proved that, when reporting on negative drug overdoses, media framed celebrities' perceptions negatively but found no evidence of positive celebrity perceptions when reporting about prescription drug overdoses.
|Commitee:||Broholm, John, Lumpkins, Crystal|
|School:||University of Kansas|
|School Location:||United States -- Kansas|
|Source:||MAI 50/05M, Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Journalism, Communication, Mass communications|
|Keywords:||Celebrity, Death, Drugs, Media frames, Overdoses, Social responsibility|
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