Journalism and Mass Communications
05 Jul 2019

Truth, Justice, Race, and Sexual Harassment: An analysis of the Op-Ed discourse during the Hill-Thomas and Ford-Kavanaugh hearings

Using critical discourse analysis to examine Op-Eds during the Hill-Thomas and the Ford-Kavanaugh hearings, this paper explores how the media can function as an arbiter of public opinion in debates surrounding controversial events. Findings show a shift not only in the contributors, from predominantly men in 1991 (75%) to predominantly women in 2018 (70%), but also a shift in the tone of the conversation. Key findings can be attributed, in part, to the voices of women that were present and the worldwide #MeToo movement. What was noticeably absent in 1991 (women’s voices and support), became prominent in 2018, altering the discourse in the public sphere.

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