A tale of competing discourses: The media framing of Cincinnati's gentrification and urban neighborhood reinvestment efforts (1997--2005)

Damion Mario Waymer, Purdue University


This, which is exploratory in nature, uses Cincinnati and its gentrification-related discourse as texts for analysis to explore how Cincinnati's gentrification-related initiatives are predominantly framed in the media. This study focuses on the time period surrounding the 2001 riots---that received national media coverage---that took place in Cincinnati. Using Cincinnati print media as texts for analysis, this analysis highlights the implications that arise when media tend to use more positive terms such as renewal, rebirth, and revitalization as opposed to the term gentrification to frame urban neighborhood reinvestment initiatives; it also further establishes the role---intentional or unintentional---that reporters and journalists play in public relations issues. This study offers insights into the critical issues that appear to divide Cincinnati and its various publics. Additionally, this study, using Cincinnati's announcements of urban renewal, highlights differences among organizational rhetoric of government and organizational discourse of corporate and non-profit organizations. It is different, in part, due to its ability to marginalize publics to greater degrees than discourse of non-profit and corporate rhetors. Although all organizational discourse [mis]represents various publics' interests it is supposed to represent, this study highlights the subtle tyranny of government rhetoric. A concept is called the paradox of the positive emerges from this study and details the damaging effects of governmental organizational rhetoric . This study discusses how the nature of organizational rhetoric opens it up to sharper claims of illegitimacy and explores the various ways the nature of city government problematizes organizational rhetoric.^




Josh Boyd, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Speech Communication

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