Journalism and Mass Communications, College of


Date of this Version

Summer 7-27-2022

Document Type



Ghosh, Shreyoshi. (2022). Symbolic Annihilation and Stereotyping of Native American Women in News: A Content Analysis of Health, Safety, and Economic Status Related News. UNL Data Repository.


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Arts, Major: Professional Journalism, Under the Supervision of Professors Maria Marron, Michelle Hassler, Kelli Boling. Lincoln, Nebraska: July, 2022

Copyright © 2022 Shreyoshi Ghosh


This is an exploratory study on the safety, economic, and health challenges of Native American women who constitute about 1.5% of the American population. With the symbolic annihilation and stereotyping of Native American people and women of color, there was a need to study the portrayal of Native American women in news. The findings indicated there was a growth in news coverage during 2018-19 and safety, including missing and murdered, emerged as a key topic. But symbolic annihilation in health and economic status including pay gap news was significant. Health news mostly covered maternal health and deaths but excluded most other critical health issues. Low interrelation was observed among the safety, economic, and health topics with the issues discussed in isolation. The findings indicated the absence of stereotyping as the news coverage followed community and social justice as a dominant frame. The Associated Press had the most relevant news coverage with safety as the thrust area followed by The New York Times focusing on health and economic status and CNN on safety. Data for Los Angeles Times was not statistically significant and Fox had no data relevant to the research topics. The low volume of relevant news coverage was a limitation of the study.

Advisor: Kelli Boling, Maria Marron, Michelle Hassler