American newspapers, identified as mostly “liberal” in nature by the researchers, held more responsible the “victims” than “accused” while covering the campus-based sexual assault incidents, a study shows.
According to the study, the five liberal newspapers were The Washington Post, The New York Times, the Denver Post, the Raleigh News Observer, and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Jane O’Boyle, an assistant professor of School of Communications at Elon University, and Queenie Jo-Yun Li, an assistant professor at School of Communication, University of Miami, conducted the study of 10 newspapers from eight states.
The other five newspapers cited as conservative by the researchers, were the New York Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Tampa Bay Times, the Columbus Dispatch and the San Diego Union-Tribune.
The researchers collected random samples of 50 articles that covered sexual assault incidents over 23 years from each of the 10 newspapers. Later, 500 stories were analyzed through the content analysis method.
Among all analyzed stories, 34.6%accused the perpetrator for the incidents but 37.4% of stories said the victim was responsible, stated the study.
The study data showed that 25% of all articles mentioned that school athletes were accused while 11% referred to the accused as involved with fraternity.
In most cases, the news stories held university authorities as responsible for creating solutions against such issues.
For the full study: https://doi-org.umiss.idm.oclc.org/10.1177/0739532919856127
O’Boyle, J., & Li, Q. J.-Y. (2019). #MeToo is different for college students: Media framing of campus sexual assault, its causes, and proposed solutions. Newspaper Research Journal, 40(4), 431–450. https://doi.org/10.1177/0739532919856127