Perceptions of the O.J. Simpson Murder Trial and its News Coverage
The O.J. Simpson criminal trial was the most extensively covered in U.S. history. Not only was it reported virtually daily (usually on the front page) in the nation's newspapers and television newscasts, but CNN brought the trial to home and work-place television sets nearly "gavel-to-gavel." It quickly became obvious that public interest in the trial was about more than murder. It had to do with celebrity, justice, wealth, sex and race. The situation presented an excellent opportunity to study perceptions about an almost universally-known event, the underlying social issues attracting the massive interest and the news media coverage that linked them. This study, conducted near the middle of the trial, identified four viewpoints about the trial and its coverage. Additional insight was gained by asking four news media gatekeepers to provide second-order Q sorts as they thought "typical" news readers might.
Stanley E. Ketterer, Euntaek Lee, Earnest L. Perry, Jr., Keith P. Sanders, Robert W. Meeds, & Jiafei Yin. (1996). Perceptions of the O.J. Simpson Murder Trial and its News Coverage. Operant Subjectivity, 19(3/4), 85–104. doi:10.15133/j.os.1996.003