In August 2012 the South African police shot and killed 34 striking miners, and injured 78 at the Lonmin platinum mine at Marikana. This news event was such that it had the potential to force a change in government, as well as to impact labour employment and production in the mining industry. As a complex event, Marikana was chosen to analyse the press at work. This thesis has focused on four main narratives from the media coverage: firstly, the economic narrative; secondly, the narrative about the carrying of tribal weapons and practices used by the striking miners; thirdly, the accounts of the shootings; and fourthly, the fall-out within the unions. The main findings reflect a lack of in-depth reporting and analysis of the mining economy and its labour; and the failure of the press to adequately narrate the impact of the police shootings on the three partners in government.