A Multimodal Critical Discourse Analysis of the Representation of the #MeToo Movement in British Journalism.
The #MeToo movement was a prominent feminist social movement in 2017 highlighting the universal prevalence of sexual harassment and abuse. Actress Alyssa Milano took to the social media website “Twitter” to urge those who had been affected by these issues to use the phrase “MeToo” in conjunction with a “#”. This received half a million responses within the first 24 hours (BBC 2018). This dissertation aims to use multimodal critical discourse analysis in order to examine the representation of the #MeToo movement within British Journalism between 2017-2018 and in 2020. By closely analysing 11 articles published by The Guardian, The Times and The Daily Telegraph this research investigates how language and images, as modes of communication, combine to create meaning. This research provides insight into how newspaper articles have the power to reproduce certain ideologies and represent the #MeToo movement in a certain way. A main finding of this research is that all three newspapers used a combination of multiple lexical and visual techniques to disparage the #MeToo movement. Interestingly, the lexical and visual representations of the #MeToo movement in the analysed articles published by The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph changed over the identified time period. This dissertation holds the potential to build upon current sociological understandings of how social media movements are framed in more traditional media and how lexical and visual techniques are utilised by British newspapers to provide a narrative that will inform and shape public consciousness (Rhode 1995; Gitlin 2003).