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Framing of social protest news in Web portals in Chile and Colombia during 2019

Francisco Tagle (Universidad de los Andes, Santiago, Chile)
Francisca Greene (Universidad de los Andes, Santiago, Chile)
Alejandra Jans (Universidad de La Frontera, Temuco, Chile)
Germán Ortiz (Universidad Del Rosario, Bogota, Colombia)

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society

ISSN: 1477-996X

Article publication date: 1 March 2022

Issue publication date: 12 October 2022




Late in 2019, massive protest demonstrations rocked both Chile and Colombia. They were an expression of discontent with the economic model and social policies implemented in both countries in recent decades. The purpose of this study is to investigate how Chilean and Colombian news websites framed these social protests and what aspects of the social movements promoted these media to public opinion.


The methodology of this research is empirical; the authors use quantitative and discourse analysis techniques to study the news published by the top three most visited main news websites in each country and deduce the main frameworks emerging from them. After analyzing the framing of reality by media in 4,252 news items, the authors suggest that the main news portals in these Latin American countries not only portrayed the collective actions but also promoted interpretations that did not necessarily reflect the demands of the demonstrations.


The findings were that in the 2019 protests in Chile and Colombia, the media approach to collective action was not necessarily positive for the activists. This was mainly because framing in the Chilean and Colombian websites had to do with negative aspects of the movements, such as violence or economic costs.


The originality and value of this research is that despite the fact that there are abundant case studies on the relationship between social movements and media framing in the literature, this study adds to the current knowledge because it compares two Latin American countries and focuses on Web news portals.



Tagle, F., Greene, F., Jans, A. and Ortiz, G. (2022), "Framing of social protest news in Web portals in Chile and Colombia during 2019", Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, Vol. 20 No. 4, pp. 424-439.



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