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News media representation of online misogyny

In recent years "revenge porn" is recognized as a form of online misogyny causing severe harm to people especially women. Such online practices barricade social developments like eliminating oppression of women and ensuring gender equality. News media across the globe are increasingly reporting about ensuing damage of revenge porn devastating women’s social life, career and familial relationships. Indeed, news media plays crucial role to influence the public opinion, legislators and policy makers who ensure the wellbeing of individuals in a society. However, extensive study on how news portrays revenge porn is still very rare. Existing limited research suggest that news reports about revenge porn fail to adequately capture the ordeal of the victims. Another big criticism about media is that it often conveys a victim blaming message – women who participate in risky online sexual activities are personally responsible for the consequences they may face.

But recently, there have been developments in media practices with separate sections in many news services that are solely deployed for highlighting issues of women's wellbeing, health and lifestyle etc. There are significant efforts evident from advocacy agencies, online activists and bloggers to make society aware of the harms of online sexual harassment. Their versions are also being included in mainstream news media. Such a changing media landscape provides room for generating alternative media discourses which can challenge the dominant discursive practice of victim blaming in media. This research examines how news media is actually narrating about revenge porn and the actors involved in it. The study explores the recurring major themes in news stories published in 4 leading American news websites over a period of 5 years (2012-2016).

Page Manager: Mats Ekström|Last update: 3/27/2017

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