Date of Graduation


Document Type

Problem/Project Report

Degree Type



Reed College of Media


Reed College of Media

Committee Chair

Mary Kay McFarland

Committee Member

Bob Britten

Committee Member

Glynis Board

Committee Member

Jesse Wright


The following is a professional project that examines the way in which the mass incarceration of West Virginians has been framed by the news media. The research presented explains the scope of the problem of mass incarceration, followed by an explanation of research conducted on framing. The literature review explores what other media scholars have published about framing and argues which frame is most dominant in crime reporting by state media. Following this is a methodology for production of a podcast series that utilizes a thematic frame and the practice of solutions journalism to promote dialogue around the systemic issues that lead to and result from the mass incarceration of people in the state. The podcast reports on a bill passed in the West Virginia state legislature that encourages judges to release people accused of certain, nonviolent crimes out on personal recognizance bonds. It strives to bring awareness to the flaws in the systems in West Virginia prisons and examine certain policies that define criminal action. The last part of the paper proposes an assessment of the completed podcast and parameters for a discussion.