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"Whales, guns, and money?" How Commercial and Ideological Considerations Influenced the Seattle Times Portrayal of the Makah Whale Hunt

The Makah whale hunt was one of the most heavily covered mainstream media events involving Native Americans in the 1990s. This event was characterized by active protests from environmental and animal rights organizations. The Seattle Times coverage presented the issues, conflicts, and controversies in a manner that supported the Makah tribe's efforts. Given the often-deplorable history of Native Americans and the mainstream news media, this may seem to suggest a positive development for Native American tribes. However, it is necessary to ask what factors influenced the Seattle Times decision to portray the event from a pro-Makah angle. Analyzing this coverage provides an understanding of how ideological and commercial considerations influence the news media. This thesis examines how the presentation of the legal and technical issues as well as the character and personalities of the participants was influenced by the new media's commercial and ideological priorities.


Richard Gorman Jr.


Nancy Parezo





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College of Social and Behavioral Sciences