Document Type


Date of Award



College of Liberal Arts and Behavioral Sciences (COLABS)

Degree Name

MA in Communication

First Advisor

Professor Eui Bun Lee


The purpose of this study was to explore the effects of local TV news about African American males on the audience. A total of 161 college students enrolled at Texas Southern University, one of the largest Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the country, participated in the study. Three major research questions were formulated for the current study: (1) What are the major images of African American men portrayed in local TV news? (2) How do negative stereotypes and images affect the audiences' behaviors towards them? (3) What are the real life experiences of African American men? Participants were asked about the top information source for local news. About 59% said that Internet was the top source for their local news and 31 % said local TV stations. The overall images of African American men are negative and they are more likely to appear as criminal suspects in all categories of crimes, including robbery, home invasion, murder and other felonies (83%). As a result of implicit effects of local TV 1 2 news, a quarter of the sample reported that they experienced racial treatments while shopping, eating at restaurants, as well as by police. When they excel academically, they were also looked upon as an exception, rather than the norm. Future study should examine the effects of radicalized crime news on the stress of African American men in more detail and perhaps on the different ways of coping. Future research could employ in-depth personal interviews to increase the knowledge about real life experiences of African American men in different age groups