The Coverage of "Spousal Homicide" in the Ethiopian Community in the Israeli Daily Press

  •  Efrat Shoham    


In the recent years, Ethiopian immigrants in Israel have been making headlines mainly in connection to domestic violence and murder. For the last decade, 30 Ethiopian women were murdered by their husbands. Iyengar (1991) distinguishes between two types of framing in news coverage. An episodic frame, which focuses mostly on the specific details of the events, and a thematic frame, which deals with the broader context within the events occur. In the case of the thematic frame, the source of the problem is found in the wider social circles, or the care-giving facilities, and they bear the responsibility for solving the problem as well. According Carter and Weaver (2003) the media’s presentation of violent stories constitutes means of social control, which encourages fear that leads to the search for authoritative and one-dimensional solutions. In order to examine the nature of the press coverage of Ethiopian husbands who murdered their wives, two of the most popular daily newspapers in Israel have been chosen. The sample includes all the articles regarding eight Ethiopian women murdered by their partners during the years 2007-2009. It seems as the press coverage of the murdered Ethiopian women makes use of both types of frames: episodic and thematic. Strengthening the image of the poor, criminal black immigrant plays a dual functional purpose, Illustrating, on the one hand, a clear line between the dangerous and the normal and, on the other hand, removing responsibility from the rest of the Israeli society.

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