Date of Award

Fall 2018

Thesis Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Honors Bachelor of Arts




David Painter

Committee Member

Anne Stone

Committee Member

Amy Armenia


Based on media framing theory, this exploratory and comparative investigation quantitatively analyzes autism coverage in the top two newspapers from Venezuela and Argentina between the years of 2010 and 2017 in their native language, Spanish. The results indicate there are significant differences between the countries’ coverage of autism in their description of issues, discourse types, sources, images, roles and stigmatizing cues. These differences notwithstanding, science and public relations are the main top two issues reported in both countries. Additionally, a scientific discourse type is more common in Venezuelan articles than in Argentina which focuses on human-interest stories. Individuals with autism are quoted in less than 5% of stories from each country. However, people with this condition are visually represented less frequently in Venezuela than in Argentina. In addition, people with autism have a leading role in the newspaper articles in about half of the articles from both countries, with more supporting roles in Argentina and more incidental references in Venezuela. Finally, these results explain why both countries perpetuate stigmatizing cues regarding labeling, psychological symptoms, social skills and physical appearance.