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The ‘Rosie Batty effect’ and the framing of family violence in Australian news media


Hawley, E and Clifford, K and Konkes, C, The Rosie Batty effect' and the framing of family violence in Australian news media, Journalism Studies, 19, (15) pp. 2304-2323 . ISSN 1461-670X (2018) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group

DOI: doi:10.1080/1461670X.2017.1343096


When 11-year-old Australian boy Luke Batty was murdered by his father, his mother Rosie Batty used her authority as a high-profile victim to orchestrate a sustained and nationwide campaign to address family violence. Her efforts informed public and political debate as well as policy change at state and federal levels in Australia. This study examines news coverage of the Luke Batty case over a 20-month period following Luke’s murder on 12 February 2014. It traces the ‘framing’ of family violence within Australian media (particularly in relation to gender and attributions of responsibility) over this period and as Rosie Batty increasingly rose to prominence as a family violence campaigner. Our findings suggest that the discursive tensions around whether family violence is ‘a gender issue’ played a crucial role in shifting the debate towards an emphasis on the responsibility of the perpetrators of such violence, which in turn helped to reframe family violence as a national problem rather than a private matter that happens behind closed doors to nameless, mostly female, victims.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Rosie Batty, family violence, media framing, primary definers
Research Division:Language, Communication and Culture
Research Group:Communication and media studies
Research Field:Journalism studies
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Communication
Objective Field:The media
UTAS Author:Hawley, E (Ms Erin Hawley)
UTAS Author:Clifford, K (Dr Katrina Clifford)
UTAS Author:Konkes, C (Dr Claire Konkes)
ID Code:117401
Year Published:2018 (online first 2017)
Web of Science® Times Cited:20
Deposited By:Office of the School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2017-06-13
Last Modified:2021-10-26

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