Re(claiming) and Re(naming) #MyDallasIs: An Analysis of Citizen Framing of Dallas after the 2016 Ambush




social media, #MyDallasIs, hashtag activism, citizen framing


After a peaceful protest in Dallas, Texas became the site of an ambush of police officers, The Dallas Morning News (DMN) asked readers to tell the world about their city, through a meme generator and #MyDallasIs hashtag. Citizen framing was analyzed using quantitative and qualitative methods to discover how the city was framed on Twitter (n=277 tweets), publicly available Instagram posts (n=91), and through comments left on a The DMN webpage (n=209). Participants opted for frames that re(named) and re(claimed) their city, with themes of home, unity, diversity, city pride, beauty, love and resilience. On the newspaper’s page, one additional dominant theme surfaced: otherness, aggression, and privilege.  This research expands the literature with the notion that platforms exhibit differences in frames projected by the citizen journalists. Authors offer implications of social media citizen framing and recovery efforts for cities after urban trauma.

Author Biographies

  • Sarah Maben, Tarleton State University
    Assistant Professor, Department of Communication Studies
    Tarleton State University
  • Prairie Endres-Parnell, Tarleton State University
    Instructor, Department of Communication Studies
    Tarleton State University
  • Lora Helvie-Mason, Tarleton State University

    Professor, Communication Studies

    Assistant Dean, College of Liberal and Fine Arts

    Tarleton State University


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