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Abstract

The manner in which the news media reports on environmental issues is important because the production and reproduction of narratives, analysis of quotes, and audience engagement tactics all affect the way that readers think about and respond to critical issues (McCombs and Shaw 1972). However, many analyses of framing focus on content produced by large media networks which are more likely to hire experienced journalists and cover news items with regional and national significance (Maxwell Boykoff and Roberts 2007). This is important because local newspapers account for most of the news that is consumed by the general populace, and the constraints of advertising sales and public backlash against controversial reporting may sometimes limit editorial options to reproductions of local interests, values, and partisan politics (Armstrong et al. 2010). As this reporting bias is most paramount in the local news coverage of environmental issues, the impact of reporting trends as they evolve in a community over time needs to be better understood. This paper will examine the case study of a landfill in Gary, Indiana to assess how the frameworks used by local newspapers have changed over the chronological lifetime of this environmental issue.

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