Journal Article

Child Protection and the Media: Lessons from the Last Three Decades

Patrick Ayre

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 31, issue 6, pages 887-901
Published in print December 2001 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online December 2001 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/31.6.887
Child Protection and the Media: Lessons from the Last Three Decades

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During the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, sensationalist coverage of a series of celebrated child abuse scandals in England and Wales resulted in the repeated vilification in the mass media of those child welfare agencies deemed culpable for the deaths of the children involved. This paper explores the contribution of the media to the creation of the climate of fear, blame and mistrust which seems to have become endemic within the field of child protection. It suggests that damaging distortions have been introduced into the child protection system as a result of the defensive responses of the relevant authorities at both national and local level to the media onslaught. A more strategic approach to understanding and managing media coverage of this difficult field is outlined.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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