Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Marsely Kehoe, Mellon Scholars

Document Type


Event Date



The Black Lives Matter movement was started in 2013 in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s killer, George Zimmerman. The movement has gained a lot of momentum through social media outlets, such as Twitter, using the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter. This project looks at the portrayal of the movement through the usage of the hashtag on Twitter, specifically from 2015 to 2017 by two major news source accounts, CNN and Fox News. We chose these two news sources in order to gain perspective from both sides of the political spectrum, as CNN is, from our perspective, more left-leaning, and Fox News is more conservative. We chose a percentage of tweets from each account pertaining to Black Lives Matter and looked at retweets, likes, and responses for each tweet. Our group created operational definitions for the various themes that stood out in the original tweets and the responses by the news sources in order to gauge a general understanding of the representation of the Black Lives Matter movement by the public on Twitter. Based on the operational definitions that we assigned to the content of each tweet for both CNN and Fox News, this project aims to determine sentiment responses from these news sources pertaining to Black Lives Matter in order to critique the fact that the difference in the presentation of opinions affect viewer opinion and response.