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Modifying Haitian Images in the Miami Media from 1979 through 2010 in Advent of Social Media

Destin, Yven (2016) Modifying Haitian Images in the Miami Media from 1979 through 2010 in Advent of Social Media. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This study analyzes the racialization of the immigrant Other in the American media by exploring the images of Haitians deployed in three different newspapers—Miami Herald, Miami Times, and Haiti-Observateur—that are directed to racially/ethnically distinct readers. I examine the positive and negative images of Haitians in these papers and trace their development over time. Specifically, I examine the reportage of Haitians over three events: the boatlift crisis of 1979, the AIDS epidemic crisis of 1983, and the earthquake of 2010. This study asks, is there an existing hegemonic view of Haitians in which race is a primary signifier in the American media?
My study applies the concept of controlling images, the idea that racialized images are commonly deployed in the American media, to shed light on the production and reproduction of racism toward Haitians. This dissertation therefore sets out to investigate the presence, absence, and degree of racialized illustrations of Haitians among three newspapers in a city where many Haitian immigrants reside.
My analysis reveals that before the 2010 earthquake, the controlling images of Haitians changed from negative to positive. Furthermore, the newspapers constructed and modified the controlling images according to racialized and political journalistic practices, especially after the earthquake because of social media. During the 1979 boatlift crisis and the 1983 AIDS epidemic, the mainstream newspaper, the Herald, offered more negative images of Haitians than the black newspaper, the Times, and the Haitian newspaper, Observateur. However, the Observateur mostly operated outside the racial framework of the American newspapers during these periods preceding the earthquake.
After the 2010 earthquake, in an era of social media, the Herald changed its images of Haitians. The mainstream newspaper offered more positive images of this group than the other newspapers. During this time, the black newspaper reflected a reduced interest in race in the coverage of the Haiti disaster when compared to coverage of earlier crises. The Haitian newspaper was more closely engaged with the earthquake disaster, more than its coverage of the previous crises, though less engaged than the American newspapers.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Destin, Yvenyven.destin@gmail.comYVD2
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairBlee, Kathleenbleegrad@pitt.eduBLEEGRAD
Committee CoChairHashimoto, Akikoahash@pitt.eduAHASH
Committee MemberBell, Joycejmbell@umn.eduJMB267
Committee MemberGlasco, Laurencelarry.glasco@pitt.eduLAG1
Date: 24 June 2016
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 14 March 2016
Approval Date: 24 June 2016
Submission Date: 28 March 2016
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 218
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Sociology
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Haitians images media newspapers social controlling boat people AIDS Haiti earthquake victims grounded theory frames Atlas.ti Herald Times Observateur Miami Florida modified primitive polluted poor qualitative research stigma diaspora journalism journalistic practices race dictatorship national security coding
Date Deposited: 24 Jun 2016 13:41
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:32


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