Newspaper Framing of Gender-based (domestic) Violence of Women –on-Men from Nyeri County, Kenya

Muthoni E. King'ori, Ukaiko A. Bitrus-Ojiambo

Abstract


This paper examined print media representations of gender-based domestic violence messages
from Nyeri, Kenya, one of the counties inhabited by the Kikuyu ethnic group. The Kikuyu are
Kenya‘s most populous ethnic group – this is according to the 2009 Kenya population census
(Basse, 2010). Two newspapers, the Daily Nation (mainstream) and the Nairobian (tabloid-style)
weekly provided the data for the study. Content analysis was used to examine the frequency of
frames, prominence, type of stories, and sources used in the stories while critical discourse
analysis (CDA) helped examine emergent themes. Purposive sampling was used to select news
articles on gender-based domestic violence in Nyeri County published by the two newspapers
between June 1st, 2015 and August 31st, 2015. In total, 22 articles were analyzed from both
newspapers. The main findings: (1) Most of the news articles had a negative tone: Daily Nation
(eight) and the Nairobian (nine); (2) the Nairobian covered the domestic violence in Nyeri in a
sensational manner using vivid language, graphics and colorful pictorials, while the Daily
Nation used a conservative approach in its coverage; (3) The two newspapers framed the Nyeri
woman as an angry, violent and dangerous woman while the Nyeri man was framed as mainly
an alcoholic and helpless victim; and (4) Previous gender media narratives such as the Bobbitt‘s
gender violence story and the Angry black woman phenomenon parallel the localized
Nyerification effect.
Key Words: Nyerification, Gender-Based (Domestic) Violence, Stereotypes, Media Framing,
Content Analysis, Critical Discourse Analysis

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