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One Twitter User's Frame-by-Frame Analysis of the Dallas Shooting Media Coverage

Floor tiles at the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome. The pattern creates an illusion of three-dimensional boxes. PHOTO: Public Domain

Floor tiles at the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome. The pattern creates an illusion of three-dimensional boxes. PHOTO: Public Domain

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 Philando 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.

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