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Children and the Media

A cluster of people within the School study issues to do with children, media, culture and policy. A common theme derives from contemporary theories of the social construction of childhood and debates about children as citizens. We are interested in how these approaches relate to more traditional models of children and media, including reception studies about effects of media on children.

Further aspects involve analysis of the ways in which children are represented in the media, as well as a strong concern with children’s rights and issues to do with the abuse of children.

  • Dr Cindy Carter has written about children’s reactions to traumatic news as well as researching children, citizenship and on-line reporting. She is on the editorial board of the new international journal 'Children and the Media' and has been asked to advise industry and children’s organisations on a wide range of issues to do with children and the media (e.g. the BAFTA/Oxford University Think Tank on children and commersialisation and the Munich Prix Jeunesse recommendations on news reporting of war and terrorism for child audiences).
  • Professor Bob Franklin has written extensively about representations of social policy, social work and children’s rights.
  • Professor Jenny Kitzinger has examined the emergence of child sexual abuse as a public issue, the representation of social work intervention scandals and the development of anti-violence initiatives in schools.
  • Mr Stephen Cushion has written about young people, politics and apathy: media representations of young citizens and their attitudes towards this.
  • Mr Nick Mosdell co-authored 'Consenting Children? The Use of Children in Non-Fiction Television Programmes', with Maire Messenger-Davies.

Funded research projects include:

PhD projects focussing on children or young people have included: ‘Children and new media’ (Claudia Vieira); ‘A cross-cultural study of animated television programmes for children' (Ema Sofia Amarall Leitao); 'Mobile Phone culture: an ethnographic semiotics approach of the meaning in advertising representation towards Thai teenagers' (Chaensumon Ukritwiriya) and ‘Children, mental illness and the news’ (Ann Luce).

International links We are part of the Children and News International Network. We also have collaborated with visiting fellows.