Framing of Social Protest: A Comparative Study on Mainstream Media Outlets and Online-Native News Sites' Coverage of the Marcha por la Dignidad Nacional




Lopez Hernandez, Oscar

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University of Guelph


Mainstream news outlets often frame protests adversely, discrediting demonstrators or minimising their demands. However, we lack knowledge on how social protests are framed by online-native news sites. The Marcha por la Dignidad Nacional (MDN) is a social protest launched by relatives of disappeared persons in Mexico, with the purpose of demanding from the federal government concrete actions and policies to address the crisis of disappearances of persons. Through a textual analysis of news stories about the MDN, produced by a sample of three Mexican mainstream news outlets’ digital editions and three online-native news sites, this research analyzes whether and how framing of the MDN differ between the two types of news organizations. The results indicate that two mainstream news outlets tend to use episodic framing more frequently, while two online-native news sites tend to use thematic framing more frequently. No evidence of description bias or the use of disqualifying labels to refer to demonstrators of the MDN was found in any of the six news organizations analyzed.



Mothers, Social Protest, Framing, Online News Sites, Missing Persons