Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Sociology (MA)

Degree Level



Sociology and Criminology


Casey Harris

Committee Member

Jeff Gruenewald

Second Committee Member

Kayla Allison


bias homicide, characteristics, Cultural Deviance Model, empirical distribution, news-making, news-media, newsworthy, Rarity Model


Recent trends indicate that incidents of hate crime have become increasingly more violent since 2017, resulting in an overall increase in incidents of bias homicide specifically. Knowledge of bias crime among the general public largely derives from news media sources and, unfortunately, research that illustrates how the media covers and/or portrays bias crime incidents remains underdeveloped. Using theories of strategic news making, the current study examines the types of bias homicide incidents that receive media coverage by constructing a unique database of newspaper articles from prominent, national papers for 216 bias homicides that occurred between 2000 and 2019 drawn from the Bias Homicide Database (BHDB). Articles are paired with information on the victims, offenders, and the events themselves. Findings speak to the newsworthiness of certain types of lethal bias crime events versus others, which have important implications for public and political discourse regarding bias crime policy.