Unconscious and systemic biases are present in all individuals and organizations. Bias is defined as a particular tendency, trend, inclination, feeling, or opinion, especially one that is preconceived or unreasoned. (dictionary.com, 2017) It is through the lens of these biases that one shapes their individual understanding of the world around them. Many circumstances in one's life might contribute to these unconscious biases. Few influences however, have the power to reach the number of people that the media does. These news media organizations have the task of reporting current events to the general public and they should do so objectively. Media bias is not a new topic but it has gained more attention in recent years. News reports about police have increased in recent years as well. (Lawrence, 2000) In particular, the news media has reported more stories regarding police use of force against persons of color. These stories are certainly news worthy. However, if they are not reported in a proportionate and objective manner they could contribute to the deterioration of the already wounded relationship between law enforcement and the communities they serve. This research analyzes the relationship between news media bias and public perceptions of law enforcement. This research cumulates in a survey distributed to students at a reginal university in the south of the U.S. that gathered information on their media consumption habits and their overall perceptions of law enforcement officers.

Semester/Year of Award

Spring 5-4-2017


Victoria E. Collins

Mentor Professional Affiliation

Justice Studies

Access Options

Restricted Access Thesis

Document Type

Bachelor Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level



Justice Studies

IRB Approval Number (if applicable)