Media Regulation: Strategies to mitigate violence against children who are publicly ‘named and shamed’

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Abstract

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.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationViolence Against Children in the Criminal Justice System
Subtitle of host publicationGlobal Perspectives on Prevention
EditorsWendy O'Brien, Cedric Foussard
Place of PublicationAbingdon Oxon UK
PublisherRoutledge
Chapter2
Pages38-55
Number of pages18
Edition1st
ISBN (Electronic)9780429440793
ISBN (Print)9781138340220
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameRoutledge Frontiers of Criminal Justice
PublisherRoutledge

Cite this

Gordon, F. (2020). Media Regulation: Strategies to mitigate violence against children who are publicly ‘named and shamed’. In W. O'Brien, & C. Foussard (Eds.), Violence Against Children in the Criminal Justice System: Global Perspectives on Prevention (1st ed., pp. 38-55). (Routledge Frontiers of Criminal Justice). Routledge.