Celebrities’ Experience with Cyberbullying: A Framing Analysis of Celebrity Stories in Online News Articles in Teen Magazines
Seeking to increase knowledge about the content and underlying messages in news articles about celebrities’ experiences with cyberbullying, this chapter reports upon the results of a framing analysis. A total of N = 106 online articles were selected from two popular American celebrity teen magazines, Seventeen and Twist magazine. The analysis revealed 10 frames that could be classified within two themes. The first group of frames focused on celebrities’ experience of cyberbullying, citing its negative consequences and pointing to the uncontrollable character of the situation. In contrast, the second group of frames defended the idea that the situation could be handled by using the ‘right’ coping strategies. Suggested coping strategies were found on three levels: behavioral, cognitive and social. The dominant behavioral coping frame was that of ‘biting back’, representing celebrities fighting back against the bully by making sassy comments, a strategy that was also largely encouraged by journalists. On a cognitive level, celebrities strongly stressed the importance of a positive stand towards the cyberbullying experience, for instance by believing in positive outcomes associated with the ways the experience was handled. Finally, on a social level, looking for help was strongly encouraged, particularly if it was available nearby. The implications of this study are discussed in terms of their potential for supporting future anti-cyberbullying prevention and intervention initiatives.
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