A Tale of Two Murders: Media Coverage of Homicides in Atlanta Open Access

Cronan Jr., Paul Bryan (2014)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/3n204002v?locale=en
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Abstract

Abstract

A Tale of Two Murders:
A Case Study of Media Coverage of Two 2013 Homicides in Atlanta
By Bryan Cronan

In May 2013, two men were killed within the same week and just blocks away from one another in East Atlanta Village. The death of one of those men, Patrick Cotrona, became one of the biggest crime stories last year. Media outlets congregated in East Atlanta Village to try and understand who Cotrona was and why he was the victim of an apparent random killing. The death of the other man, Henry Omar Reeves, received only fleeting news coverage. Even in stories about a string of violent crimes in the East Atlanta community around that time, Reeves's name was only mentioned briefly. The goal of this project was to find out more about Reeves's death and determine if the lack of coverage represented a larger trend in the way Atlanta's media outlets covered homicides in 2013. The bulk of the thesis is a magazine-style article based on research that draws on a number of methodologies, including quantitative analysis of coverage by local newspapers and TV stations, compilation of a homicide database for 2013 based on police records obtained through Open Records Act requests, in-person interviews with family members of the murder victims, and interviews with local media practitioners.

This thesis focuses on Cotrona and Reeves and how their murders, and the corresponding media coverage, represent the larger issues surrounding homicide coverage by local media outlets.

Table of Contents

Introduction

1

Research Methods

2

Article: A Tale of Two Murders

5

Bibliography

21

Appendix A: 2013 Homicides in Atlanta Interactive Map

23

Appendix B: Database-Homicide Reports in Media Coverage

24

Illustrations

Photo of Henry Omar Reeves

6

Photo of Patrick Cotrona

7

Patrick Cotrona Sign Photo

8

Graph of Atlanta Homicide Statistics

9

Graph of Word Counts for Murder Victims by Race

10

Map of Homicides in Atlanta

12

Photos of a Young Henry Omar Reeves

17

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