Asking For It: The Sexualized Violence of Jian Ghomeshi as Depicted by Four Traditional Journalistic Media Sources
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When the scandal surrounding ex-CBC broadcaster Jian Ghomeshi first broke in the fall of 2014, the subsequent outpouring of public opinion, and the ongoing tension between victim sympathy and legal due process as captured by the media, seemed to hinge on whether one perceived the case to be about violence or to be about rough sex. Given the literature linking the relevance of media coverage to public discourse and that this research was conducted prior to the first trial verdict, the following research question was posed: How does the language of journalistic media depicting victim and perpetrator involvement in the Jian Ghomeshi scandal reveal, expose, or distort perpetrators’ violence and victims’ responses and resistance? This question was addressed by analyzing pre-trial reporting from four major Canadian news sources and coding according to the four-discursive-operations of language framework by Coates and Wade (2007). The analysis revealed many ways in which public discourse about violence must be challenged if ultimate sexualized violence reform is ever to be possible.