Protecting victims' identities in press coverage of child victimization

              
Author(s)Jones, Lisa M, Finkelhor, David, and Jessica Beckwith
Title Protecting victims' identities in press coverage of child victimization
Source Journalism, Vol 11, pp 347-366; 2010
Date 2010
Document type Journal article
Coverage  USA
Summary This article discusses the impact of publicity around a child's victimisation that can lead to, for example, shame and stigmatisation. Research has also shown that feelings of shame predict higher rates of PTSD, depression and social problems. For the study newspaper articles reporting on cases of child victimisation in a two-year period were analysed to see how often and under what circumstances potentially identifying information about victims was published. The review found that in 51 per cent of the articles at least one type of identifying information about the child was included. Victims' names were rarely used in reporting on child sexual assault but were published in almost one quarter of articles covering non-fatal physical assault or neglect against children. The authors recommend further research using follow-up studies of victimised children and their families, asking about the impact of media exposure.
Keywords Child victimisation; media; identity; publicity; shame; PTSD
Topic

Children