In the context of the already contradictory socio-legal positioning of children, the media plays an influential role in maintaining particular social constructions of children and sensationalising punitive responses to children who breach penal law. Reflecting on historical cases and drawing on contemporary case studies from the UK, this chapter firstly identifies instances in which the interplay between the media and the law bears discriminatory and detrimental effects on children. It argues that responses, reactions and populist punitive youth justice policies are often grounded in long established socially constructed notions of childhood and children. Against this backdrop, the chapter addresses the nexus between rhetorical violence against children, and the normalisation of violence against children, including violence against vulnerable children enmeshed in the criminal justice system and in community responses directed towards this social group. Sharing the often marginalised, hidden or excluded views of children and their advocates, the chapter explores their experiences and views about the role played by the media in constructions of youth crime and their views of the current media regulatory system in the UK. The chapter concludes by making specific recommendations about legal and policy reform in order to better regulate principled media practices and ethical journalism with respect to children in conflict with the law.
|Title of host publication||Violence Against Children in the Criminal Justice System|
|Subtitle of host publication||Global Perspectives on Prevention|
|Editors||Wendy O'Brien, Cedric Foussard|
|Place of Publication||Abingdon Oxon UK|
|Number of pages||18|
|Publication status||Published - 2020|
|Name||Routledge Frontiers of Criminal Justice|