Just a wonderful breakdown of the whole media narrative on the issue of Luiz Suarez. If you haven’t read this yet, and you’re interested in how the sports media works in the UK, then read this, now.

N E W S • F R A M E S • • • • •

Media on Racism - FramingJan 23, 2012Top Gear’s“lazy Africans Mexicans” routine was broadcast to millions. It made minor news, with no repercussions. Luis Suarez’s dialogue with Patrice Evra was heard by nobody and unrecorded, but it led to a media frenzy of blaming ‘n’ shaming – with many journalists mistaking their own carelessness for a moral high horse.

The different outcomes can be explained partly by the N-word and partly by a confused application of “zero tolerance” framing, both of which featured in the Suarez coverage, but not in the Top Gear case.

Racism framing & the N-word

No word is racist in itself – it depends on context/frame. Conceptual “frames” for racism include:Top Gear - "lazy Mexicans"

  1. Racial stereotyping/abuse
  2. Ironic slang
  3. Comedic mockery of stereotyping/abuse
  4. “Quoted” use in reportage, novel, film, etc

BBC and Ofcom initially dismissed the Top Gear incident as category #3 – but a later BBC investigation effectively placed it…

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