Youth Activists through the Online Lens: Comparison of Youth Activist Portrayal in Online News Sources and Self-Perceptions of their Participation in Society

Youth Activists through the Online Lens: Comparison of Youth Activist Portrayal in Online News Sources and Self-Perceptions of their Participation in Society

De Guzman, J. D. (2014). Youth activists through the online lens: Comparison of youth activist portrayal in online news sources and self-perceptions of their participation in society. Unpublished undergraduate thesis, University of the Philippines Diliman College of Mass Communication.

Various forms of media have often presented youth activists in a negative light. The advent of new media, however, has opened more venues for truthful and objective reportage. This study aimed to analyze how youth activists are portrayed in online news sites and how these portrayals compare with activists’ own perception of their involvement in society.

Guided by the Loevinger’s Reflective-Projective Theory of Mass Communications and Entman’s Framing Theory, the research focused on portrayals and frames used by leading online news sources, particularly Philippine Daily Inquirer (Inquirer.net), ABS-CBN News (abs-cbnnews.com), and Philippine Star (Philstar.com). Content analysis was used to analyze these websites. Focus interviews were then conducted to acquire the activists’ perception of themselves. The results of both processes were compared.

In conclusion, the study found that online news sources often portrayed youth activists negatively, but framed their news episodically. Though online news generally present youth activists without bias, they still continue to underrepresent the issues and societal problems these activists raise.

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