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Western Media Attitudes Toward an Immigrant of Color Sex Crime Victim: Case Study: the DSK Case

Description: About 30 million women in the U.S. are estimated to be victims of sex crimes in their lifetimes. However, sex crimes, especially those committed against immigrants are the least reported crime in the country. Some sex crime victims say the fear of media criticism discourages them from reporting the crime. in May 2011, an African maid working at a New York hotel accused Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former director of the International Monetary Fund, of sexually assaulting her. This qualitative content analysis examined the coverage of the DSK case, by three leading international newspapers: the New York Times, the Guardian and Le Monde. Findings suggest that Strauss-Kahn received more favorable coverage than Diallo. Frames identified in the coverage include the importance of status/prominence, race, culture differences, victim-blaming, male privilege, socioeconomic differences and focus on appearance. the study recommends that news organizations avoid judgmental coverage of sex crimes and consider identifying victims by allowing them to tell their side of the story.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Mumah, Jenny
Partner: UNT Libraries