Her name was Clodagh: Twitter and the news discourse of murder suicide

Muireann Prendergast, Fergal Quinn, Audrey Galvin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


The evolution and adaptation of journalistic practice in response to discourses taking place in networked and shared media environments and the implications of same have been the focus of much academic attention in recent years. This paper examines the agenda-setting potential of Twitter and considers how this feeds into and affects journalistic output. It does so by applying a Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) framework in considering whether reportage on particular news events are re-framed in the aftermath of Twitter campaigns. In August 2016, the Irish media’s framing of the Hawe murder suicide via sourcing, emphasis and agency drew widespread criticism on social media for its perceived ‘omission’ or ‘significant silence’ about one of the victims, Clodagh Hawe, from the narrative in favour of a greater focus on the perpetrator, Alan Hawe. Criticism of the initial coverage of the incident was in large part driven by the #hernamewasclodagh social media campaign. This paper takes an intertextual approach to the analysis of correlations between emphases within the social media campaign and differences in the framing of the news media coverage before and after that campaign.
Original languageEnglish (Ireland)
Pages (from-to)312
Number of pages329
JournalCritical Discourse Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 27 May 2019


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