• Stigma: the representation of anorexia nervosa in UK newspaper Twitter feeds.

      Bowen, Matt; Lovell, Andrew; Waller, Rhian; University of Chester (Taylor and Francis, 2020-07-15)
      Background There is evidence that the representation of mental health in newspapers has an influence on readers’ attitudes, however, relatively little is known about how the industry presents accounts of anorexia nervosa. Further, the industry increasingly uses Twitter as a medium for reaching readers and this remains an under-examined area of research. Aims To explore the representation of anorexia nervosa in the UK national press’ Twitter feeds. Method Frame analysis was used to examine the manner in which anorexia nervosa was represented in the Twitter feeds of all national UK newspapers between 2009-2019 (n=332). This qualitative approach used Braun and Clarke’s stages of thematic analysis, while drawing on Van Gorp’s use of a frame matrix to support the definition of the news frames. Results The analysis identified four news frames: social model, illness model, stress-recovery model and clickbait model. Conclusions The newspapers drew on a range of perspectives in their representation of anorexia nervosa, which typically were not stigmatising in their accounts. However, there was a pattern of using sensationalistic images in some of the tweets, which may encourage readers to view people with anorexia nervosa as Other, and as a consequence contribute to stigmatisation.