Children and the internet in the news: agency, voices and agendas

Cristina Ponte, Joke Bauwens and Giovanna Mascheroni

in Kids online

Published by Policy Press

Published in print September 2009 | ISBN: 9781847424396
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447302643 | DOI:
Children and the internet in the news: agency, voices and agendas

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From both historical and theoretical perspectives, many have argued that media representations provide significant symbolic resources for the construction of public and political agendas, and that dominant media frames are powerful in defining social problems and shaping public discourses. When it comes to young people's engagement with the internet and how society is dealing with this, the interconnection and congruence among the public, policy, and research agendas are noticeable. Based on a systematic content analysis of news coverage in European papers, this chapter examines how the press reports children's positive and risky or harmful contacts with online technologies. Drawing on agenda-setting theories and on contemporary theories on the construction of childhood, it discusses patterns of representation of internet-related risks and opportunities, considers which social actors are given voice, and investigates which role and level of agency are attributed to young people in these news narratives.

Keywords: press; media coverage; online risks; online opportunities; young people; online activities

Chapter.  4294 words.  Illustrated.

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