The politicising spark? Exploring the impact of #MeToo on the gender equality discourse in Australian print media

Olga Eisele, Elena Escalante-Block, Alena Kluknavská, Hajo Boomgaarden

#MeToo has raised public awareness on issues of sexual harassment and misconduct at an unprecedented scale, nurturing hopes for sustainable change also in terms of gender equality. We use the concept of politicization to assess the potential for change which #MeToo might have induced in the broader print media discourse on gender equality issues. We analyse Australia as an arguably difficult case due to its conservative political and media system, thus offering political activism rather dire prospects of public resonance. We assess a total of two years of media coverage in the eight largest newspapers (October 2016 – September 2018), combining automated content analysis with manual claims analysis. Our results speak to the societal debate on gender equality as well as the potential of online social movements to change mainstream discourses and social realities.

Department of Communication, Department of Government
External organisation(s)
Masaryk University, Institut d’études politiques de Paris
Australian Journal of Political Science
Publication date
Peer reviewed
Austrian Fields of Science 2012
508008 Media analysis, 508020 Political communication
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