Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2017


In the wake of recent events were reports of black men being killed by police officers. Policing and perceptions of the police have in some cases became national stories. Further, the deaths of Michael Brown and later Freddie Gray, just to name a few have led to an examination of police community relationships and how people view the police, particularly racial and ethnic minorities. Public views of the police in large part come from the media. A content analysis of The Philadelphia Inquirer, TIME Magazine and 60 Minutes episodes were conducted to explore the types of portrayals of police officers and policing in general. Focusing on the front page stories of the Philadelphia Inquirer, cover stories in TIME Magazine and segments on the television show 60 Minutes topics, beginning January 1st, 2015 and until December 31st 2016 findings suggested that stories that portrayed police in a particularly negative light or efforts to highlight good deeds by police officers did not dominate the news cycle. Further, nationally (TIME Magazine and 60 Minutes) police were seldom the focus, although when mentioned, negative stories outpace positive ones. Similar themes were found in locally within the Inquirer.