Colombia is marked by high levels of gender-based violence. In 2020, 630 women were murdered because of their gender. The number of these feminicides increased under the coronavirus lockdown that began in March 2020. Although the news media play a crucial role in shaping the public’s notion of feminicides, empirical studies on the media’s portrayal of feminicides in Colombia are scarce. The present study involved a quantitative content analysis of articles published in four Colombian newspapers to determine how they reported on feminicides from August 2019 to July 2020 (sample size: 139 articles, comprising 1798 paragraphs). The period under investigation allowed for a comparison of news coverage before and during the lockdown. By means of hierarchical cluster analysis, we identified four frames: “gender-based inequalities and discrimination against women”, “perpetrators in front of the court”, “prehistory and course of events of the feminicide”, and “reactions of neighbors, eyewitnesses, and villagers to the feminicide”. Our findings suggest that the four newspapers under investigation paint rather similar pictures of feminicides. We also found that the date an article was published in relation to the COVID-19 quarantine had little influence on the frequency at which the clusters appeared.
Journalism and Media, 23. Januar 2022