Senior Honors Projects, 2010-2019

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation

Spring 2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)


Department of Political Science


Robert Alexander

Dan Schill

David Jones


This study’s purpose was to first explore the significance of agenda-setting, framing, and inference, which assert that the media’s daily coverage of event significant impact the way it is understood by the public. Then, I aimed to apply this understanding specifically to media coverage of the oil pipeline process of Dakota Access Pipeline.

To this end, I conducted a content analysis of articles from The Bismarck Tribune, the Associated Press, The New York Timesand The Wall Street Journal between January 1st, 2015 and January 1st, 2016, and July 25th, 2016 and October 1st, 2016 was conducted. This was to fully analyze the language and potential framing used in each publication.

I also conducted a content analysis of governmental responses made by the Federal Energy Regulatory Committee, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Department of Justice, Department of the Interior, and Department of the Army to understand the language and potential influence of framing used in each source.

Results showed that the language utilized in the response made by the Department of Justice, Department of the Interior, and Department of the Army shifted to being sympathetic towards the rights of the Standing Rock Sioux, as seen in use by researched publications. These findings have impacts on the modern relationship between media coverage and governmental action.



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