Graduation Year

2005

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Granting Department

Criminology

Major Professor

Dr. Michael J. Lynch.

Keywords

Environmental crime, Epa, News reporting, Oil industry, Corporate crime

Abstract

Although examination of the relationship between the media and crime has received considerable attention in the academic literature, only a few studies have examined news media coverage of environmental crimes. The present study examines print news media coverage of federal penalties assessed against the petroleum refining industry from 1997 to 2003. The Environmental Protection Agency initiated and/or settled 162 cases involving seventy-eight petroleum refining companies from 1997 to 2003. While a news search of the nations twenty-five largest newspapers produced seventy-four articles related to petroleum refining industry violations, only seventeen articles matched the EPA cases analyzed in the present study. The present study found that while there is a considerable amount of federal petroleum refining industry violations, only a few cases receive media attention.

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