Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

Gregory Howard

Second Advisor

David Hartmann

Third Advisor

Ann Miles


In the year 2017 alone, 87,000 women were intentionally murdered across the globe, while 58% of these victims were murdered by someone they knew — family members or intimate partners (Global Study on Homicide: Gender-Related Killing of Women and Girls, 2018). The intentional killing of women and girls, typically by men and motivated by gender, is classified as a crime called “femicide.” Broader definitions of femicide simply state that it is the murder of women and girls, by someone of any gender, regardless of their motive. In some regions of the world, this phenomenon is more prevalent than in others. Although women and girls are murdered at an alarming rate both in the United States and in Mexico, research and media attention tends to be concentrated in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico, where femicides are considered to be an epidemic. This study examines a total of 102 newspaper articles where a female was murdered in Detroit, Michigan and Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico. The newspaper articles from both cities were analyzed as two separate cases in order to determine characteristics of newsworthiness and their implications for how these locations construct the issue of violence against women with respect to each city. The results of this research demonstrate that, although cases in Ciudad Juárez were more likely to be connected to the city’s epidemic of femicide, the news source used failed to adequately follow up on stories or provide thorough details. Contrary to this, the Detroit news source often provided an overwhelming amount of detail on cases and followed up sufficiently despite the lack of recognition to a larger social problem. Overall, the findings will reveal that the source selected to represent cases in Ciudad Juárez was more likely to relate incidents of femicide within the scope of violence against women, whereas the Detroit news source rarely even made a connection between cases.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access