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Summer of 2013: massive protests in more than 150 cities encompassing an array of grievances. First massive protest since President Collor’s impeachment in 1992. Bus fare increase, World Cup expenditures, human rights violations, corruption, etc.
Protest paradigm: structural biases that produce a pattern of
coverage of SMO actions
Entman & Rojecki (1992): the news grants legitimacy to
participation by movements with little institutionalized power in
politics but only so long as they steer clear of effective political
Historical overview of protest coverage in Brazil: media “flip-
flop,” legitimizing protests when they become more powerful.
Research questions and hypotheses
How did Brazilian media outlets cover the 2013 protests online?
RQ1: What frames were employed by main media outlets when
covering the 2013 Brazilian protests online?
RQ2: What frames were employed by bloggers when referring to the
2013 Brazilian protests?
RQ3: What frames were employed by Twitter users when referring
to the 2013 Brazilian protests?
H1: The more people participate in protests, the more the media use
“legitimizing” frames when covering them.
H2: The broader and more resonant the collective action frames, the
more the media use “legitimizing” frames to cover the protests.
Computerized content analysis using the software Crimson-
Sub-data sets: a) news websites; b) blogs and forums; c) Twitter
news outlets; d) Twitter general
Machine learning: a sample was used to train the program on the
various frames proposed by Hertog and McLeod (2001):
confrontation, riot and debate
Algorithm applied the lessons to the large data sets based on the
identification of central concepts (Hertog & McLeod, 2001; Miller &
Results were compared with a timeline of the events (H1)
Hashtags were used as a proxy for the movement’s demands (H2)
Brazilian media followed the “protest paradigm” more closely at
the beginning of events, but migrated to legitimizing frames as
public support increased (H1 supported).
This is consistent with the literature on media coverage of
previous protests in the country, but in contrast to US theory.
News stories follow public support in the streets. Twitter news
accounts follow public support on the Twittersphere.
The rise of the resonant “rights frame” was closely followed by
legitimizing media coverage (H2 supported).
Software training limited: could not identify the circus frame.
Future studies on frame sponsorship are needed to understand
Brazilian media’s “flip-flop” behavior.
Next step: compare the results of media frames analysis to the
collective action frames promoted by SMOs and political elites on
blogs and Twitter.