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Researcher suggests mainstream media is responsible for shallow coverage of antirape activism

Dr Kaitlynn Mendes (pictured) from the Department of Media and Communication has argued in a new book that the mainstream media often neglects anti-rape activism by delivering ‘shallow’ coverage.

The book, ‘SlutWalk: Feminism, Activism & Media’, analyses how the 2011 ‘SlutWalk’ anti-rape movement was more proactively received by the feminist blogosphere than the mainstream media, which frequently printed ‘shallow’ coverage by comparison.

Dr Mendes explained: “Although the mainstream media covered SlutWalk, it was limited in comparison to that found in the feminist blogosphere. For example, whereas the news frequently included statements indicating that SlutWalk challenged ‘rape culture’ they rarely explained what rape culture was, how it was perpetuated or how the movement was actually challenging it.

“On the other hand, the feminist blogs had the space, freedom and lack of traditional journalistic constraints which allowed them to go into these issues in more depth.

“What I hope readers take away from the book is an understanding of what rape culture is, how it is perpetuated, and how it can, and should be challenged. And that you don't already have to have experience as an activist to create change - just the willingness to act.”

An event to launch the book will take place at the University's Bookshop on Tuesday 7 July between 3:00-4:30pm.

The event is free and open to the public.

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