Feature article coverage of Australian out-of-home care : portrayals and policy reform

McCosker, Laura, Lonne, Bob, Gillespie, Kerri, & Marston, Greg (2014) Feature article coverage of Australian out-of-home care : portrayals and policy reform. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 84(3), pp. 257-265.

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Mandatory reporting is a key aspect of Australia’s approach to protecting children and is incorporated into all jurisdictions’ legislation, albeit in a variety of forms. In this article we examine all major newspaper’s coverage of mandatory reporting during an 18-month period in 2008-2009, when high-profile tragedies and inquiries occurred and significant policy and reform agendas were being debated. Mass media utilise a variety of lenses to inform and shape public responses and attitudes to reported events. We use frame analysis to identify the ways in which stories were composed and presented, and how language portrayed this contested area of policy. The results indicate that within an overall portrayal of system failure and the need for reform, the coverage placed major responsibility on child protection agencies for the over-reporting, under-reporting, and overburdened system identified, along with the failure of mandatory reporting to reduce risk. The implications for ongoing reform are explored along with the need for robust research to inform debate about the merits of mandatory reporting.

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1 citations in Scopus
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ID Code: 80869
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: child abuse and neglect, media, out-of-home care
DOI: 10.1037/h0099828
ISSN: 1939-0025
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > SOCIAL WORK (160700) > Social Work not elsewhere classified (160799)
Divisions: Past > Schools > Chemistry
Current > Research Centres > Children & Youth Research Centre
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Nursing
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 American Psychological Association
Deposited On: 22 Jan 2015 04:07
Last Modified: 01 Jun 2015 22:46

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