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Framing and shaping in media reporting: online media report of Marikana Massacre 2012-2014.

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The Lonmin Mines wage strike which saw 44 people lose their lives, 34 of which were brutally shot and killed by the South African Police Services, not only made the national or regional headlines but made international news as well. This study probes the news frames and news agendas as employed in five online news sources, namely: BusinessLive, SowetanLive, News24, Daily Maverick and Mail & Guardian. A non-random sample of 47 news and editorial articles taken from the aforementioned five news sources were thoroughly examined. The articles covered the events of the Lonmin Mines strike action and the subsequent massacre from August 13, 2012, until September 04, 2014. The data form the selected articles were analysed through Frame analysis and Critical Discourse Analysis. The study revealed that all five online sources considered the Lonmin Marikana event as newsworthy. The data revealed that the news reports had different outlooks which foreground their reporting on the matter. However, ultimately, they all demonised the miner workers and positioned the strike action as villainous. A focus on Lonmin consistently overshadowed the mineworker’s economic plight. Consequently, the news reports foregrounded the negative characteristics of striking mineworkers, and their supporters, while simultaneously, foregrounding the mineworker’s positive attributes during the days of the strike action.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.