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Comunicar Journal 55: The Media Sphere. Controversies in Public Life (Vol. 26 - 2018)

Violence against Brazilian women in public and mediatic spheres


This article explores the capacity of the media to incorporate controversies in circulation in the public sphere. For that, it is based on the analysis of a set of 607 news stories about violence against women in context of gender relations and proximity collected in nine Brazilian media during the years of 2013 and 2014. Recognized as one of the countries with the highest rates of violence against women, in recent decades Brazil has passed laws aimed at protecting victims and aggravating the convictions of perpetrators, which were the result of intense debates promoted by feminists, researchers and others social actors involved in the guarantee of human rights. The collected news stories were published in the years immediately prior to the promulgation of the Feminicide Law, in 2015. Analyzed through a combination of methodologies, such as content analysis and narrative analysis, the collected news stories show that Brazilian news media are still little permeable to illuminating tendencies of violence against women as a result of gender relations, prevailing approaches that present them as routine and/or futile crimes. Therefore, the analysis makes it possible to perceive that the media are some steps behind the actions and debates that elevate this issue to a dimension of controversy, as those held in academic spaces, by feminist movements and other social actors in Brazil.