Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts, BA




Communication & Journalism Department

Faculty Advisor

Professor Bobbi Van Gilder


This case study is an examination of Aaron Hernandez’s professional and personal life as it was portrayed in the media. This study seeks to examine how the media narrative changed for Hernandez after his criminal activities came to light and how sports media contributed to the rise and fall of Aaron Hernandez’s professional career. The study also aimed to examine how stars like Hernandez can be held accountable for their actions outside their respective sport. To accomplish these goals, the researcher examined media coverage surrounding Hernandez to uncover how media frames corresponded with and contributed to the rise and fall of Hernandez’s football stardom. This study also draws connections to other celebrities whose professional lives were impacted by media coverage to illustrate the role of media in holding celebrities accountable for their actions outside of their work.



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