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Faculty Sponsor

Emily Plec

Abstract

This essay undertakes a framing and melodramatic analysis of the media coverage of Mauna Kea and the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT). The kiaʻi, known as protestors in the media, have prevailed through the attempts to resume the construction of this large telescope. More specifically, framing of the news media contextualizes the TMT controversy. The framing features selectivity and partiality in the news articles, mainly excluding the Native Hawaiian voice. Then, the melodramatic rhetoric elucidates a frame unique to the Hawaiian people also known as their philosophy of kapu aloha demonstrated in their social media accounts. Melodrama functions as the oppositional stance, and clarifies the cultural significance of Mauna Kea. The essay argues framing and melodrama work together to produce the Native Hawaiian narrative by using the mainstream media for their benefit.

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