Framing, Spiral of Silence, and Coverage of the #MeToo Movement

No Thumbnail Available
Harmon, Barbara
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Middle Tennessee State University
The 2017 #MeToo movement was the collective response of hashtags with the words “MeToo” to the social media accounts of people who had been sexually assaulted. This study analyzed feature articles that covered the #MeToo movement in The Washington Post and The New York Times from October 15, 2017 through April 15, 2018. A framing analysis of the 127 applicable features suggests the alleged assailants were often referenced according to their economic status and were most always men. While observing frames, observed genders, ethnicities, professions, and characterizations in the stories were noted. Featured victims were mostly white women who were usually famous in some way while Black women or those of color were often ignored. High-profile victims received coverage while everyday people and minorities gained little exposure. This thesis used spiral of silence and framing to explain the influences that affected this movement.
#MeToo, Feminism, Framing, Framing Analysis, News Coverage, Spiral of Silence, Mass communication, Women's studies, Black studies