The purpose of this study was to examine the mediated portrayals of the police and judicial system in the true crime genre of television, specifically in the Netflix Original series Making a Murderer. Using Sonja Foss’ ideological criticism, I analyzed the first season of the show, which spanned 10 episodes. In my analysis, I uncovered three major themes that highlighted the portrayals of both the police and the judicial system. First, this study concluded that the police and judicial officials involved were seen as both secretive and corrupt Second, it was found that low social and economic class citizens are given a lack of due process. Finally, looking at how the police and the judicial system uses media to their advantage. Using ideas such as representation and cultivation theory, this analysis is able to uncover what these themes mean.


Johnson, Michelle


Communication Studies


Criminology and Criminal Justice


True- Crime, Cultivation Theory, Representations

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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