Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Battle over MarriageGay Rights Activism through the Media$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Leigh Moscowitz

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038129

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038129.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 26 July 2021

Gay Marriage Goes Prime-Time

Gay Marriage Goes Prime-Time

Journalistic Norms Frame the Debate

(p.77) 4. Gay Marriage Goes Prime-Time
The Battle over Marriage

Leigh Moscowitz

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines the storytelling techniques that were used by journalists to produce the gay marriage issue for prime-time news audiences in 2003–2004, including labeling, framing, sourcing, imagery, and graphics. It discusses the discursive strategies employed by mainstream media to create conflict in the news; how sensationalist labels and descriptive language were used in news stories to validate historic homophobic discourses; and how privileging dominant political and religious sources worked to dichotomize the debate and silence moderate perspectives. It also explores how standard journalistic frames organized the same-sex marriage debate within “official” institutions of power. The chapter argues that journalistic definitions of authority, expertise, and “balance” created an uneven playing field, often pitting gay and lesbian spokespersons against unequal sources of influence from legal, medical, religious, and political authorities. It also shows how media coverage reduced the broader gay rights agenda to a single-issue movement and rarely gave gays and lesbians—almost always shown as couples—the opportunity to offer their own perspectives on this important issue.

Keywords:   journalists, gay marriage, mainstream media, homophobic discourse, news stories, same-sex marriage, media coverage, gay rights, lesbians

Illinois Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.