Title

When New Media Make News: Framing Technology and Sexual Assault in the Steubenville Rape Case

Publication Date

2016

Document Type

Article

Abstract

The 2013 Steubenville, Ohio, rape case featured a sadly familiar story of juvenile acquaintance rape involving star football players; what captured national interest in the case, however, was how the rapists and peer witnesses alike captured video and photos of the sexual assault and disseminated them swiftly and publicly via social media sites. This qualitative textual analysis utilizes framing theory to explore how national news coverage framed new media technology in relation to the Steubenville rape case, particularly how technology was framed as witness, galvanizer, and threat during the rape and its aftermath. Implications of these frames, as well as a lack of broader sexual assault context in the media coverage, are considered.

Original Citation

Pennington, R. & Birthisel, J. (2016). When New Media Make News: Framing Technology and Sexual Assault in the Steubenville Rape Case. New Media & Society, 18(11) 2435-2451. https://doi.org/10.1177/1461444815612407