Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Communication Studies


Communication Studies

First Advisor

Popescu, Mihaela

Second Advisor

Owen, Bradford

Third Advisor

Seitz, Victoria


This study will focus on the coverage of the 2010 BP oil spill at Macondo Bay in the Gulf of Mexico, when 4.9 billion barrels of oil were sent gushing into the ocean. This study provides insight into how media frame an environmental disaster and construct blame under influence of certain political economic indicators such as circulation, competition, advertising, and ownership. Studying the relationship between journalists' framing of blame for the BP oil spill in the Gulf in American and circulation and ownership type of the newspapers which published those articles helps to validate past research and provide new insights into how American media treat environmental disasters and their perpetrators.