Poor prostitutes victims of the wealthy farmer: a critical discourse analysis based on a corpus of three Italian newspapers


  • Giada Stallone La Sapienza University of Rome, Italy




This paper aims to analyze the journalistic representations of the victims of femicide and of their killer. In particular, the focus is on a serial killer case which hit Italian headlines in the Nineties and was known as "the murders of Terrazzo". To this purpose, a corpus of newspapers’ articles was created and analysed. The news articles were retrieved from the archives of three of the most relevant Italian newspapers: “Corriere della Sera”, “La Stampa”, “la Repubblica”. The methodological approach combines Critical Discourse Analysis with Corpus Linguistics which is functional to highlighting the linguistic and discursive strategies that convey misleading ideologies related to gender-based violence. The results of the analysis show how the press ends to create a strong negative prejudice against women and to represent them as responsible for the inflicted violence; while the killer is described in positive terms and in some cases dismissed from his responsibilities.

Keywords: femicide, Italian daily press, victim blaming, critical discourse analysis, gender-based violence.