"That Stinks": News Framing of a Corruption Scandal
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Whereas political scandals expose the corrupt nature of a society’s public affairs, media play a central role in publicizing a scandal and influencing public opinion. The summer 2015 garbage management scandal in Lebanon offers a news coverage case of a corruption scandal and its public reaction. While the Lebanese media outlets heavily covered an event that triggered a nationwide anti-corruption movement named “You Stink”, questions arise on the movement and its underlying scandal’s framing. Examining such an event’s framing offers insights into frame construction of corruption scandals. Drawing from the concepts of news framing, political scandals, and disgust, this research project examines a newspaper’s framing characterization of the garbage scandal. A content analysis of 57 images was conducted over the first two weeks of reporting on the scandal from Lebanon’s second most circulated newspaper. Research findings offer insights on the pre-movement conditions laid out by the newspaper, opening the door for future research into the Lebanese news media framing of corruption scandals and their role in influencing public reaction.