Avril Margaret Brandon, Erika Emandache, Aleksandra Iwaniec

Social Media, Newsworthiness, and Missing White Woman Syndrome: A Criminological Analysis

  • General Social Sciences

Missing White Woman Syndrome has been widely acknowledged within traditional mainstream media, resulting in a heavy focus on missing white women and a simultaneous underrepresentation of missing women from minority ethnic communities. However, less is known about whether this has carried through to social media, wherein users play a key role in determining what becomes widespread news. This review seeks to examine this issue with reference to existing research. It begins by exploring the concept of newsworthiness and the ways in which social media influences the distribution of news. It will then review the concept of the ‘ideal victim’, and its continued association with ethnicity. Finally, the review will examine Missing White Woman Syndrome and the ways in which it has historically manifested within traditional media and continues to manifest on social media. The review will conclude with a discussion on findings and avenues for future research in Ireland and internationally.

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