Faculty Publications

Title

The impact of news media on child abuse reporting

Document Type

Article

Keywords

Abuse reports, Media, News stories

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Child Abuse and Neglect

Volume

20

Issue

4

First Page

261

Last Page

274

Abstract

This study explores the relationship between news stories on child abuse and neglect and reports of child abuse and neglect made to a mandated agency. Academic literature on crime news is reviewed to provide a context for interpretation. News stories from metropolitan daily newspapers were compared with child maltreatment reports made to mandated agencies on a local and national basis were surveyed over 25 years. The results suggested that both child maltreatment reports and news coverage increased over the period surveyed. However, rather than media stories increasing prior to increases in mandated reports and therefore contributing to the rise in reported cases, they appeared to increase at the same time. It is suggested that the initial cause of both increases may be national policy changes. More recent increases in child abuse reports may be due to economic downturns and other widespread societal changes rather than media attention.

Original Publication Date

1-1-1996

DOI of published version

10.1016/0145-2134(96)00008-7

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