A case study and framing analysis of the 2008 salmonella outbreak
MetadataShow full item record
In April 2008, the United States Food and Drug Administration began investigating a potential Salmonella outbreak in Texas in New Mexico. Initially, tomatoes were the suspected carrier of the pathogen; however, after three months of investigation, the FDA determined jalapenos grown in Mexico were the culprit. Tomato growers across the United States reported losses of $250 million. The purpose of this study was to examine television news coverage of the Salmonella outbreak through a case study using framing theory in order to gain an understanding of how reportersâ€™ ideologies, attitudes, and corporate pressures influenced the frames that were reported on the ABC, CBS, and NBC news networks. A qualitative case study using interviews with reporters and content analysis was used to investigate the research questions. The reporters revealed they supported the farmers, they wanted change within the FDA, and they had confidence in the U.S. food supply. The frames presented in the television news coverage were health risk, financial impact, devastation of tomato growers, and frustration with the FDA. The frames that were built by reportersâ€™ inputs were devastation of the tomato grower and frustration with the FDA. This dissertation concluded that in some instances, television news frames are influenced by the reportersâ€™ attitudes and ideologies, and in other instances, they are not.