M.A. in Public Relations
Public Relations & Advertising
College of Communication & Creative Arts
FitzGerald, Suzanne Sparks
Professional sports--Public relations; Wrestling--Press coverage
Public Relations and Advertising
This study investigates the media's role in influencing public perception of the professional wrestling industry following the Chris Benoit double murder-suicide. The researcher sought to understand the manner in which newspapers portrayed the professional wrestling industry and whether media coverage in general played a role in forming the public's opinion of the industry.
Through a content analysis of articles and headlines in The New York Times and The Miami Herald, the researcher evaluated the tone of the media coverage of the professional wrestling industry. Intercept studies conducted at two southern New Jersey sports bars revealed where people received their information about the Benoit incident, whether they found the media accounts believable and how the reports made them feel about the professional wrestling industry.
It was found that the media covered professional wrestling in a mostly neutral manner following the Benoit incident. Surveyed respondents also had a neutral attitude toward the professional wrestling industry and their opinions were not changed by media coverage.
Borenstein, Neil, "The image of professional wrestling: a case study of the Chris Benoit double murder-suicide" (2008). Theses and Dissertations. 687.