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Crown Heights: Politics and Press Coverage of the Race War That Wasn't

Carol B. Conaway
Polity
Vol. 32, No. 1 (Autumn, 1999), pp. 93-118
DOI: 10.2307/3235335
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3235335
Page Count: 26
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Crown Heights: Politics and Press Coverage of the Race War That Wasn't
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Abstract

Journalists and their audiences alike rely on frames when writing about and understanding newsworthy events because they provide cues for understanding others' experiences. When serious disturbances broke out in Crown Heights, Brooklyn in late August 1991, journalists from both the New York Times and the New York Post initially portrayed the conflict in a simple black-white frame despite their interviewees' efforts to emphasize that the conflict involved African-Americans and Caribbean-Americans on one side and Lubavitcher Jews on the other. This article explores the reasons for and political ramifications of using an oversimplified frame that missed many of the important dimensions of the conflict.

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