J-Topics

Nov 01, 2007 - Posted by Sue Ferguson
The press loves children... but it loves some more than others.

A report for the Toronto-based Near East Cultural and Educational Foundation examines the Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail and the National Post to assess coverage of the Israeli/Palestine conflict. Modeling their research on an earlier US study of the New York Times, the authors tabulate the numbers of deaths of Israelis and Palestinians each paper reports, compared to the actual number of deaths from the conflict. The findings? Israeli deaths are reported at vastly higher rates than those of Palestinians.

But media bias is even more glaring when children's deaths are singled out. In 2004, for example, the three papers reported between 25% (Globe and Mail) and 88% (Toronto Star) of Israeli children's deaths, while reports on Palestinian children's death ranged from 0.6% (National Post) to 11% (Toronto Star).

All of this raises an important question for journalists: in a period when news about children clearly sells papers, why are some children deemed more "newsworthy" than others?
Aug 17, 2007 - Posted by Heather McCall

Child Characteristics Which Impact Accuracy of Recall and Suggestibility in Preschoolers: Is Age the Best Predictor?
By Lane geddie, Sasha Fradin, and Jessica Beer
Child Abuse & Neglect, Vol. 24, No. 2, pp. 223–235, 2000

ABSTRACT
Objective: The purpose of the present study was to determine whether individual difference factors of metamemory, intelligence, and temperament can improve the ability to predict accuracy of recall and suggestibility in preschoolers.
Results and Conclusions: Of principal importance is the finding that child characteristics such as metamemory ability, intellectual functioning, and temperament may indeed be helpful in determining a child’s capacity to accurately recall information in an interview, although for the most part age is the best predictor. Findings also underscore the importance of considering a child’s SES and race when planning and conducting interviews with young children. Possible explanations for these findings as well as implications for future research and clinical application are discussed.

Aug 17, 2007 - Posted by Heather McCall

The Global Village: A textual analysis of Olympic news coverage for children in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution
By Elli P. Lester-Roushanzamir and Usha Raman
Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, Winter99, Vol. 76 Issue 4, p699-712, 14p

ABSTRACT: Newspaper reporting aimed at children has proliferated yet children's news has seldom been the subject of study. This project begins to fill that void by examining the "News for Kids" (NFK) section of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. It examines international reporting for children and specifically the representations of international others as they were portrayed in reporting on the centennial Olympic games. Does news for children structure the "other" into a hierarchy of difference? Our findings suggest that powerful dominant discourses emerge which form a systematic strategy of representation. Since representation is one of the ways in which social meanings (e.g., preconditions for the functioning of social practices) are produced and circulated in society, this textual analysis helps break into over-determined discourses by identifying ideological constructions within the news reporting.

Aug 17, 2007 - Posted by Heather McCall

Staff, Time, Space Constraints Limit Coverage of Children's Health Issues
By Bonnie Bressers
Newspaper Research Journal • Vol. 26, Nos. 2&3 • Spring/Summer 2005

EXCERPT: As gatekeepers of the messages the public receives, the press plays "a pivotal role in influencing awareness of child-related issues"' and serves as the foundation for public opinion about the need for policy issues that promote children's interests on a variety of issues.... By shifting from episodic coverage to contextual, analytic reportage on issues not traditionally defined as "children's health," newspapers could provide a proactive approach to dealing with health issues and problems that affect the lives of today's children and lay the foundation for adult health status.
Aug 17, 2007 - Posted by Heather McCall
"Out of the Mouths of Babes and Experts": Children’s news and what it can teach us about news access and professional mediation
JULIAN MATTHEWS Bath Spa University College, UK
Journalism Studies, Volume 6, Number 4, 2005, pp. 509  519

ABSTRACT: Based on a participant observation study of the British children’s news programme Newsround, this article explores how professional ideas of form and target audience condition and shape both the range of accessed news voices as well as the opportunities that these are granted on the news stage to elaborate their views, experiences and feelings. This case-study approach not only helps to map a hitherto unexplored form of television journalism but also throws into sharp relief professional news practices that inform the production of television news more generally. As such, it addresses an important silence in the conventional theorization of news access and invites a more complex and culturally differentiated understanding of, and future approach to, news production and processes of professional mediation.
Jul 18, 2007 - Posted by Heather McCall
A study entitled "Reading Between the Lines: Debunking Common Myths about Young Newspaper Readers" finds that young Canadians who are frequent readers of newspapers are also more likely to vote in elections, volunteer time in community service, and be more socially active than less frequent readers. The study was commissioned by the Canadian Newspapers Association and is is considered the first in Canada to probe the relationship between levels of newspaper readership and civic engagement. A press release at the CNA site provides an overview of the findings.
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