Volume 30, Issue 1-2
  • ISSN 0957-6851
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9838
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes



Cyberbullying refers to aggression that is intentionally and repeatedly carried out in an electronic context (e.g., e-mail, blogs, social networking sites, instant messages, text messages, etc.) against a person who cannot easily defend him- or herself. Cyberbullying is an important phenomenon to research for many reasons. First, although varying prevalence rates have been reported, cyberbullying victimization has been found to occur at frequencies that are cause for concern. Second, many victims of cyberbullying have been found to experience a range of negative outcomes as a consequence. Third, previous studies found that increased Internet usage has led to increased involvement as perpetrators, victims or witness in cyberbullying. It is alarming that a survey conducted by Anis, Rahim and Lim (2012) in Malaysia revealed that 60% of the cases took place in social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace. This study aims to examine the coverage of cyberbullying by , which is the English-language daily newspaper with the largest circulation in Malaysia. Framing theory was employed as the theoretical framework, while content analysis was used as the research methods. This study revealed that coverage on cyberbullying in was dominated by the “prevention and intervention strategies” frame. The social problem was also presented as an individual-level problem (episodic framing) as well as societal-level issue (thematic framing). Implications of the findings to the understanding of cyberbullying and framing research were discussed.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Abu Bakar, H. S.
    (2015) The emergence themes of cyberbullying among adolescences. International Journal of Adolescence and Youth, 20(4), 393–406. 10.1080/02673843.2014.992027
    https://doi.org/10.1080/02673843.2014.992027 [Google Scholar]
  2. Anis, N., Rahim, A., & Lim, Y.
    (October10 2012) Najib: Cyber bullying a serious threat to kids. The Star Online. Retrieved fromhttps://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2012/10/10/najib-cyber-bullying-a-serious-threat-to-kids/#sxK4CmmdUr50tcw2.99
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Audit Bureau Circulations Malaysia
    Audit Bureau Circulations Malaysia 2018 Circulation Figures, Newspapers – West Malaysia Publication. abcm.org.com
  4. Balakrishnan, V.
    (2015) Cyberbullying among young adults in Malaysia: The roles of gender, age and internet frequency. Computers in Human Behavior, 46, 149–157. 10.1016/j.chb.2015.01.021
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2015.01.021 [Google Scholar]
  5. (2017) Unraveling the underlying factors SCuLPT-ing cyberbullying behaviours among Malaysian young adults. Computers in Human Behavior, 75, 194–205. 10.1016/j.chb.2017.04.062
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2017.04.062 [Google Scholar]
  6. Ballard, M. E., & Welch, K. M.
    (2017) Virtual warfare: Cyberbullying and cyber-victimization in MMOG play. Games and culture, 12(5), 466–491. 10.1177/1555412015592473
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1555412015592473 [Google Scholar]
  7. Barlett, C., Chamberlin, K., & Witkower, Z.
    (2017) Predicting cyberbullying perpetration in emerging adults: A theoretical test of the Barlett Gentile Cyberbullying Model. Aggressive behavior, 43(2), 147–154. 10.1002/ab.21670
    https://doi.org/10.1002/ab.21670 [Google Scholar]
  8. Boero, N.
    (2013) Obesity in the media: Social science weighs in. Critical Public Health, 23(3), 371–380. 10.1080/09581596.2013.783686
    https://doi.org/10.1080/09581596.2013.783686 [Google Scholar]
  9. Bosman, J., & d’Haenens, L.
    (2008) News reporting on Pim Fortuyn: Framing in two Dutch newspapers. Media, Culture & Society, 30(5), 735–748. 10.1177/0163443708094018
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0163443708094018 [Google Scholar]
  10. Boulton, M., Lloyd, J., Down, J., & Marx, H.
    (2012) Predicting undergraduates’ self-reported engagement in traditional and cyberbullying from attitudes. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 15(3), 141–147. 10.1089/cyber.2011.0369
    https://doi.org/10.1089/cyber.2011.0369 [Google Scholar]
  11. Chong, D., & Druckman, J. N.
    (2007) A theory of framing and opinion formation in competitive elite environment. Journal of Communicatrion, 57(1), 99–118.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Critcher, C.
    (2013) Model answers: Moral panics and media history. Moral panics, social fears, and the media: Historical Perspectives, 13–27.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. De Vreese, C. H., Banducci, S. A., Semetko, H. A., & Boomgaarden, H. G.
    (2006) The news coverage of the 2004 European Parliamentary election campaign in 25 countries. European Union Politics, 7(4), 477–504. 10.1177/1465116506069440
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1465116506069440 [Google Scholar]
  14. De Vreese, C., & Semetko, H. A.
    (2002) Cynical and engaged: Strategic campaign coverage, public opinion and mobilization in a referendum campaign. Communication Research, 29(6), 615–641. 10.1177/009365002237829
    https://doi.org/10.1177/009365002237829 [Google Scholar]
  15. Dredge, R., Gleeson, J., & De la Piedad Garcia, X.
    (2014) Cyberbullying in social networking sites: An adolescent victim’s perspective. Computers in Human Behavior, 36, 13–20. 10.1016/j.chb.2014.03.026
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2014.03.026 [Google Scholar]
  16. Entman, R. M.
    (1993) Framing: Toward clarification of a fractured paradigm. Journal of communication, 43(4), 51–58. 10.1111/j.1460‑2466.1993.tb01304.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1460-2466.1993.tb01304.x [Google Scholar]
  17. (2007) Framing bias: Media in the distribution of power. Journal of Communication, 57(1), 163–173. 10.1111/j.1460‑2466.2006.00336.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1460-2466.2006.00336.x [Google Scholar]
  18. Farezza, H. R.
    (2017, May6). Cyberbullying among top five online threats. New Straits Times. Retrieved fromhttps://www.nst.com.my/news/exclusive/2017/05/236873/cyberbullying-among-top-five-online-threats
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Ferrara, P., Ianniello, F., Villani, A., & Corsello, G.
    (2018) Cyberbullying a modern form of bullying: Let’s talk about this health and social problem. Italian journal of pediatrics, 44(1), 14–16. 10.1186/s13052‑018‑0446‑4
    https://doi.org/10.1186/s13052-018-0446-4 [Google Scholar]
  20. Griffin, E. A.
    (2003) A first look at communication theory. San Francisco: McGraw-Hill.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. Hinduja, S., & Patchin, J. W.
    (2014) Bullying beyond the schoolyard: Preventing and responding to cyberbullying. Corwin Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. International Telecommunication Union
    International Telecommunication Union (2018) Percentage of individuals using the Internet. Retrieved fromhttps://www.giplatform.org/actors/international-telecommunication-union
  23. Iyengar, S.
    (1991) Framing responsibility for political issues. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 546(1), 59–70. 10.1177/0002716296546001006
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0002716296546001006 [Google Scholar]
  24. Jones, L. M., Mitchell, K. J., & Finkelhor, D.
    (2013) Online harassment in context: Trends from three youth internet safety surveys (2000, 2005, 2010). Psychology of violence, 3(1), 53. 10.1037/a0030309
    https://doi.org/10.1037/a0030309 [Google Scholar]
  25. Kim, S. H.
    (2015) Who is responsible for a social problem? News framing and attribution of responsibility. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 92(3), 554–558. 10.1177/1077699015591956
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1077699015591956 [Google Scholar]
  26. Kowalski, R. M., Giumetti, G. W., Schroeder, A. N., & Lattanner, M. R.
    (2014) Bullying in the digital age: A critical review and meta-analysis of cyberbullying research among youth. Psychological bulletin, 140(4), 1073–1089. 10.1037/a0035618
    https://doi.org/10.1037/a0035618 [Google Scholar]
  27. Kowalski, R. M., & Limber, S. P.
    (2013) Psychological, physical, and academic correlates of cyberbullying and traditional bullying. Journal of Adolescent Health, 53(1), 13–20. 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2012.09.018
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2012.09.018 [Google Scholar]
  28. Kowalski, R. M., Limber, S. P., Limber, S., & Agatston, P. W.
    (2012) Cyberbullying: Bullying in the digital age. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.
    [Google Scholar]
  29. Lee, L. T.
    (2017, April11). On the alert for cyberbullying. The Star Online. Retrieved fromhttps://www.thestar.com.my/opinion/letters/2017/04/11/on-the-alert-for-cyberbullying/
    [Google Scholar]
  30. Lent, J. A.
    (1990) The development of multicultural stability in ASEAN: The role of mass media. Journal of Asian Pacific Communication, 4(1), 45–58.
    [Google Scholar]
  31. Manheim, J. B.
    (1994) Strategic public diplomacy and American foreign policy: The evolution of influence. New York: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  32. McLuhan, M., & Fiore, Q.
    (1967) The medium is the message. New York, 123, 126–128.
    [Google Scholar]
  33. Mondragon, N. I., de Montes, L. G., & Valencia, J.
    (2018) Understanding the emergence of infectious diseases: Social representations and mass media. Comunicación y Sociedad, 31(3), 319–330.
    [Google Scholar]
  34. Mustafa, K. Anuar
    (2010) Epilogue. InE. G. Loo & Mustafa K. Anuar (eds.), Journalism in good faith: Issues and practices in religion reporting (pp.196–201). Shah Alam: Marshall Cavendish (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd.
    [Google Scholar]
  35. Ng, C. G., Kanagasundram, S., Yee, H. A., Tan, L. H., & Teoh, K. M.
    (2016) Cyber bullying – A new social menace. ASEAN Journal of Psychiatry, 17(1), 104–115.
    [Google Scholar]
  36. Notar, C. E., Padgett, S., & Roden, J.
    (2013) Cyberbullying: A review of the literature. Universal Journal of Educational Research, 1(1), 1–9.
    [Google Scholar]
  37. Patchin, J. W., & Hinduja, S.
    (2010) Cyberbullying and self-esteem. Journal of school health, 80(12), 614–621. 10.1111/j.1746‑1561.2010.00548.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1746-1561.2010.00548.x [Google Scholar]
  38. (2015) Measuring cyberbullying: Implications for research. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 23, 69–74. 10.1016/j.avb.2015.05.013
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.avb.2015.05.013 [Google Scholar]
  39. Scheufele, D. A., & Tewksbury, D.
    (2007) Framing, agenda setting, and priming: The evolution of three media effects models. Journal of Communication, 57(1), 9–20.
    [Google Scholar]
  40. Selva, J.
    (2018) Media planning guide Malaysia 2018. Kuala Lumpur: Perception Media Sdn Bhd.
    [Google Scholar]
  41. Slonje, R., Smith, P. K., & Frisén, A.
    (2013) The nature of cyberbullying, and strategies for prevention. Computers in human behavior, 29(1), 26–32. 10.1016/j.chb.2012.05.024
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2012.05.024 [Google Scholar]
  42. Syed Arabi Idid
    Syed Arabi Idid (1989) Malaysia. InA. Mehra (Ed.). Press systems in ASEAN States. (pp.41–56). Singapore: AMIC.
    [Google Scholar]
  43. Tankard, J. W.
    (2008) The empirical approach to the study of media framing. InS. D. Reese, O. H. Gandy & A. E. Grant (eds.), Framing public life: perspectives on media and our understanding of the social world. (pp.95–105). New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
    [Google Scholar]
  44. The Star
    The Star (2014, September2). Family dinners may help kids cope with cyberbullying.
    [Google Scholar]
  45. The Star
    The Star (2015, February10). It’s vital to keep our children safe in cyberspace.
    [Google Scholar]
  46. The Star
    The Star (2015, December13a). The pain’s real.
    [Google Scholar]
  47. The Star
    The Star (2015, December13b). Scarred for life.
    [Google Scholar]
  48. The Star
    The Star (2016, May26). Parents and teachers come out in support of updated regulations to tackle bullying.
    [Google Scholar]
  49. The Star
    The Star (2016, June24). Creating a safer cyberspace for future digital natives.
    [Google Scholar]
  50. The Star
    The Star (2017, April11). On the alert for cyberbullying.
    [Google Scholar]
  51. The Star
    The Star (2017, June16). I tried to kill myself, says victim.
    [Google Scholar]
  52. The Star
    The Star (2017, June18). Govt out to put a stop to cyberbullying.
    [Google Scholar]
  53. The Star
    The Star (2017, July1). Time to regulate social media?
    [Google Scholar]
  54. The Star
    The Star (2017, August17). New guidelines to stem cyberbullying.
    [Google Scholar]
  55. The Star
    The Star (2017, August18a). Cyberbullying more harmful than other forms, says web safety expert.
    [Google Scholar]
  56. The Star
    The Star (2017, August18b). Peer support helped cyberbullying victim recover.
    [Google Scholar]
  57. The Star
    The Star (2017, November8a). Learning to be safety-savvy online.
    [Google Scholar]
  58. The Star
    The Star (2017, October8b). Only nine and she’s already having suicidal thought.
    [Google Scholar]
  59. The Star
    The Star (2017, November8). These social media apps are stirring up drama in US schools.
    [Google Scholar]
  60. The Star
    The Star (2017, December14). Internet needs to be made for children too, says Unicef.
    [Google Scholar]
  61. Tokunaga, R. S.
    (2010) Following you home from school: A critical review and synthesis of research on cyberbullying victimization. Computers in Human Behavior, 26(3), 277–287. 10.1016/j.chb.2009.11.014
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2009.11.014 [Google Scholar]
  62. Van Geel, M., Vedder, P., & Tanilon, J.
    (2014) Relationship between peer victimization, cyberbullying, and suicide in children and adolescents: A meta-analysis. JAMA Pediatrics, 168(5), 435–442. 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.4143
    https://doi.org/10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.4143 [Google Scholar]
  63. Wachs, S., Jiskrova, G. K., Vazsonyi, A. T., Wolf, K. D., & Junger, M.
    (2016) A cross-national study of direct and indirect effects of cyberbullying on cybergrooming victimization via self-esteem. Psicologia educativa, 22(1), 61–70. 10.1016/j.pse.2016.01.002
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pse.2016.01.002 [Google Scholar]
  64. Wong, K. K.
    (2004) Asian-based development journalism and political elections press coverage of the 1999 General Elections in Malaysia. Gazette, 66(1), 25–40. 10.1177/0016549204039940
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0016549204039940 [Google Scholar]
  65. You, S., & Lim, S. A.
    (2016) Longitudinal predictors of cyberbullying perpetration: Evidence from Korean middle school students. Personality and Individual Differences, 89, 172–176. 10.1016/j.paid.2015.10.019
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2015.10.019 [Google Scholar]
  66. Yusuf, S., Hassan, M. S. H., & Ibrahim, A. M. M.
    (2018) Cyberbullying among Malaysian children based on research evidence. InM. Khosrow-Pour (Ed.), Encyclopedia of information science and technology (4th Ed.), (pp.1704–1722). Hershey: IGI Global.
  67. Zillman, D., Chen, L., Knobloch, S., & Callison, C.
    (2004) Effects of lead framing on selective exposure to internet news reports. Communication Research, 31(1), 58–81. 10.1177/0093650203260201
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0093650203260201 [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): content analysis; cyberbullying; framing; social problem
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error