Publication Date

April 2010


J. Kehaulani Kauanui


American Studies (AMST)


English (United States)


I explore the U.S. government’s news manipulation and covert agenda setting through the comparison of U.S. and Puerto Rican press reports on The Ponce Massacre of 1937. I explore the ways in which the two most popular and arguable most influential newspapers of the time in both regions–the New York Times and the Washington Post in the continental U.S. and El Mundo and El Imparcial in Puerto Rico–reported on this particular event through a critical analysis of terminology and overall framework. My central argument is that these U.S. papers, working in this system that pursues strategic interests, represented the Ponce Massacre and its aftermath in terms that protected U.S. reputation while criminalizing advocates for independence. In this way, the media reflected the interests of the federal government and preserved its image of (colonial) benevolence towards the Puerto Rican people.



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