Article published in:Developments in Diglossic Settings in the Asian Pacific Region
Edited by Marinus van den Berg
[Journal of Asian Pacific Communication 30:1/2] 2020
► pp. 290–309
Media reporting of cyberbullying
A framing analysis of The Star
Cyberbullying refers to aggression that is intentionally and repeatedly carried out in an electronic context (e.g., e-mail, blogs, social networking sites, instant messages, text messages, etc.) against a person who cannot easily defend him- or herself. Cyberbullying is an important phenomenon to research for many reasons. First, although varying prevalence rates have been reported, cyberbullying victimization has been found to occur at frequencies that are cause for concern. Second, many victims of cyberbullying have been found to experience a range of negative outcomes as a consequence. Third, previous studies found that increased Internet usage has led to increased involvement as perpetrators, victims or witness in cyberbullying. It is alarming that a survey conducted by Anis, Rahim and Lim (2012) in Malaysia revealed that 60% of the cases took place in social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace. This study aims to examine the coverage of cyberbullying by The Star, which is the English-language daily newspaper with the largest circulation in Malaysia. Framing theory was employed as the theoretical framework, while content analysis was used as the research methods. This study revealed that coverage on cyberbullying in The Star was dominated by the “prevention and intervention strategies” frame. The social problem was also presented as an individual-level problem (episodic framing) as well as societal-level issue (thematic framing). Implications of the findings to the understanding of cyberbullying and framing research were discussed.
Keywords: cyberbullying, social problem, framing, content analysis
Published online: 30 June 2020
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