Representing Violence: Three Decades of News Coverage of Intimate Partner Homicide in Toronto, Canada

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 15:45
Oral Presentation
Jordan FAIRBAIRN, King's University College at Western University, Canada
News accounts of intimate partner homicide both reflect and perpetuate beliefs about intimate partner violence and influence the degree and nature of social responses to these crimes. In this paper I explore news coverage of intimate partner homicide in Toronto, Canada and consider how this coverage has changed over time. Drawing from The Globe and Mail, The National Post, and The Toronto Star, I compare coverage from 1975-1979, 1998-2002, and 2013-2017. I analyze these articles to explore (1) representations of intimate partner homicide victims and perpetrators (e.g. victim blaming); (2) information about the context and nature of these crimes (e.g. premeditation, a history of violence), and (3) who is used as news sources and how often. Frame analysis is used to identify key themes, narrative devices, and explanations for these crimes, and I consider if and how the characteristics of intimate partner homicide coverage vary over time. Policy implications are discussed.