The Framing of Gender Violence by the Ethiopian Print Media

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Addis Ababa University


Gender violence is a day-to-day tragedy around the world. Many females, both children and adults, have suffered a great deal ii'om different acts of violence because of their sex. Rape, beating, female genital mutilation (FGM), abduction, and early marriage are among the dominant types of gender violence that affect women physically, psychologically, socially and economically. The media may play significant roles by covering and framing gender violence. How the media portray gender violence has pronounced implications on both public perception and social policy. Therefore, to better understand these portrayal s, this study examines the Ethiopian print media coverage of gender violence over one year period. The study content analyzes a nationally representative sample of newspaper coverage of gender violence during the period of September 2006 to September 2007. Three Amharic newspapers, Addis Admas, Police na Ermijaw, and Medical which deal with the social, crime and health aspects of gender violence, were used for analysis. In addition, journalists and editors who work for the sample newspapers were interviewed to supplement the information gathered through content analysis. The results of the study show that in terms of coverage, the analyzed newspapers mostly framed gender violence using human interest and empathy frames. However, they ignored economic and conflict frames. Private owned Addis Admas and government owned Police na Ermijaw have given gender violence a better extent of coverage compared to Medical. Furthermore, rape and beating were found to be the most frequently reported forms of violence in the newspapers. Most of the articles were informative rather than educative. They focused on reporting committed violence and court trials held regarding gender violence. Little was done, however, in educating the public on the health consequences and possible treatments of the violence.



The Ethiopian Print Media