Who is Responsible? Explaining How Contemporary Canadian Newspapers Frame Domestic Violence

dc.contributor.authorGerrits, Baileyen
dc.contributor.departmentPolitical Studiesen
dc.contributor.supervisorLittle, Margareten
dc.contributor.supervisorGoodyear-Grant, Elizabethen
dc.degree.grantorQueen's University at Kingstonen
dc.description.abstractDomestic violence is a pressing social issue in Canada. How the news media covers this violence has the potential to generate social responsibility or reinforce misconceptions about its causes, prevalence, and solutions. In this dissertation, I answer two questions. How are contemporary Canadian newspapers covering domestic violence? And, what explains the patterns of coverage? To answer the first question, I conducted an extensive content and discourse analyses of a sample of 823 domestic violence stories published between 2014 and 2016 in a range of English-language newspapers across Canada. To answer the second question, I interviewed over 120 news workers, police, and anti-violence advocates, shadowed five journalists, and observed three newsrooms in four select case study cities (Thunder Bay, Kingston, Toronto, and Ottawa) in Ontario, Canada. From these data, I argue that Canadian newspapers reinforce individualized notions of responsibility and racialized conceptions of belonging. The news communicates that Canada does not have a violence-against-women-cultural problem; there are just a few bad apples, women who make poor decisions, and violent Indigenous, immigrant, and non-Canadian ‘cultures’ that are responsible. The news subsequently focuses on depoliticized state and carceral state responses through ample attention to police, trials, prisons, and punishment. I further argue that that Canadian newspaper framing patterns of domestic violence are constrained, but not predetermined, by neoliberal logics. The reliance on market logics opens the door to strong source influence. Canadian police are able to take advantage of the weakening of newspapers with their increased communications sophistication, while anti-violence organizations receive insufficient funding to match police influence. Drawing together the political-economic realities of both the media and sources exposes the intimate link between neoliberalism and carceral expansion. Neoliberal economic and discursive restructuring, however, does not tell the whole story. Other factors also strongly influence domestic violence framing, including journalism’s ideology, newsroom culture, and women journalists as potential survivors of gendered violence. The implications are clear: Canadian newspapers are also not living up to their ideal role as the fourth estate and the framing patterns are not conducive for the social change needed to reduce and prevent domestic violence in Canada.en
dc.embargo.termsThis manuscript will be submitted to be published as a book. As such, book publishers will require that the thesis is restricted until after the book is released. For that reason, I would like to restrict the thesis for 5 years.en
dc.relation.ispartofseriesCanadian thesesen
dc.rightsQueen's University's Thesis/Dissertation Non-Exclusive License for Deposit to QSpace and Library and Archives Canadaen
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dc.rightsThis publication is made available by the authority of the copyright owner solely for the purpose of private study and research and may not be copied or reproduced except as permitted by the copyright laws without written authority from the copyright owner.en
dc.subjectDomestic Violenceen
dc.subjectNews Productionen
dc.subjectDiscourse Analysisen
dc.subjectCanadian Feminismen
dc.subjectCanadian Politicsen
dc.subjectPolitical Economyen
dc.subjectGender-Based Violenceen
dc.subjectViolence Against Womenen
dc.subjectCritical Raceen
dc.subjectAnti-Violence Movementen
dc.subjectPolice Communicationen
dc.subjectCanadian Racismen
dc.subjectCanadian Patriarchyen
dc.subjectFamily Violenceen
dc.subjectSexual Violenceen
dc.subjectCarceral Stateen
dc.subjectSocial Responsibilityen
dc.subjectContent Analysisen
dc.subjectCarceral Feminismen
dc.titleWho is Responsible? Explaining How Contemporary Canadian Newspapers Frame Domestic Violenceen
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