Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Granting Department

Mass Communications

Major Professor

Scott Liu, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Justin Brown, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Roxanne Watson, Ph.D.


content analysis, Hong Kong, news framing, Occupy Central, the framing theory


Grounded in framing theory, this thesis presents a quantitative content analysis of newspaper reporting of the Hong Kong protests, also known as the Occupy Central Movement or the Umbrella Revolution, between September 28 and December 11, 2014. The political, economic and legal implications involved have made the protests one of the most newsworthy events in the history of Hong Kong since the transfer of its sovereignty from the United Kingdom to China in 1997. This study aims to examine the various frames used in the coverage of the protests in three major newspapers that operate within different political, economic and ideological boundaries: South China Morning Post, The New York Times, and The Guardian. Results of the content analysis supported the research hypotheses that significant differences existed in the newspapers in their framing of the protests, the protesters, the government, news censorship, and politically sensitive issues. While the frames used by The New York Times and The Guardian were in agreement with the Western democratic-liberal press system, the frames used by South China Morning Post reflected the authoritarian-liberal nature of the Hong Kong press system.