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"Victim Blaming" Trend in Mass Media

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The critiques of media argue that the media organizations often conduct biased news reporting, which is a trend in US and nowadays widely seen elsewhere. As a reader, people should seriously be aware of these recent trends in the media and should support “objective news reporting”. For instance, “victim blaming” is a common trend in news stories in which the news writer blames the victim and pass unnecessary comments on them. This might influence the readers in a negative way and the media critic’s advice to the readers is that we should be always aware of this trend. Let us analyze the news articles in detail.

“Mother’s secret life as a prostitute revealed after she was found murdered in a rented flat 600 miles from her home.” Daily Mail Australia published news in February 2016, which misreports an incident of “gendered violence”. The headline starts by revealing the job of the victim and states that she is a “prostitute”. This statement completely ignores the executioner from the scene and leaves no sympathy on the reader’s mind for the victim. It is unfair to offense a murdered victim and creating such an adverse effect on the readers.

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“Sydney mother-of-four stabbed to death in front of daughter” Salwa Hyder, a mother of four children was brutally murdered by her husband in their house. It is been noticed that the writer had used the word “alleged” throughout the report. Moreover, instead of covering areas such as the crime scene, the perpetrator and the victim, the writer was keen on giving information regarding the race and ethnicity of the victim, her family background, the history behind domestic violence and the nature of the job the victim did in the past. It is been reported that the victim has given up the “hijab” in order to practice as a counselor in a multi- cultural country like Australia.

“Battered blokes: Shock 400% rise in women found guilty of beating up their husbands during family rows”. The Sun has reported an ‘unusual’ kind of a story where the headline states about men who were victimized by women partners as domestic violence. Critics argue that even though there are women convicts who abuse their fights, the domestic violence incidents reported against women are huge in number. Therefore, the data the newspaper published was misleading and is an injustice to women victims of Domestic Violence.

“Evil Andrews serves up cuppas in a church café” A news article published in The Sun described Tracie Andrews as “evil”, while she was preparing to get release from jail. She was convicted of murdering her boyfriend a few years ago. The headline the news writer used to describe the news was completely opposite to the situation. However, the writer did not use the typical “victim- blaming” method in this article. By discussing the news an example, Sandra Horley, the chief executive of Refuge has stated that, both the partners are part of a domestic violence and abuse might occur in between.

“BBQ dad ‘killed 6 over wife’s affair” In a news article published by The Sun, it states that a man killed six people in grunge after he find out that his wife had an affair. The headline is misleading and creates an impression that the woman’s bad behavior was the reason behind her fate. The six people he killed were his own two kids, the father- in law and family friends. The writer many times blames the victim and said that she was “cheating on him” and was the reason behind the massacre.

“I’ve killed the kids” Jean- Francis Say, a man of two children brutally murdered his own kids on the reason that she took the children and separated them from him. The Sun has handled the issue in an immature way and passed a few judgmental statements and states that “all his wife did was sleep and go to work. This is an insensitive comment appeared on the newspaper without considering the emotion of a woman who has lost her two kids.

CONCLUSION

When women become victims of domestic violence, it has so many similarities with rape and sexual violence. However, in all these cases, the media blame the victim for creating such situations instead of giving attention to the perpetrators and the reason behind the crime. A common feature of all the news items is that they display in such a way that it makes the readers to think that some faults were there in the victim’s side as well. Thus, the media forms an opinion among the readers that this “trend” is not an “unusual” thing, but just “normal”.

Moreover, the media separate linguistic terms to address the victim and the perpetuator, which are sometimes “erotic” and “passive”. Using language such as particular descriptions of men and women, linguistic devices such as erotic language or passives and nominalizations can also serve to blame the victim and emphasize the causal role of the woman.

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