Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://anrows.intersearch.com.au/anrowsjspui/handle/1/17008
Record ID: 1b9e1ac2-7c19-42c4-8a91-b332e11f6cc0
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/17512786.2021.1886866
Type: Journal Article
Title: Teaching Journalists About Violence Against Women Best Reportage Practices: An Australian Case Study
Authors: Sutherland, Georgina
Easteal AM, Patricia
Blatchford, Annie
Holland, Kate
ANRA Topic: Other
ANRA Population: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities
Culturally and linguistically diverse communities
General population
Categories: ANROWS Completed Register of Active Research projects
Year: 2021
Publisher: Routledge
Abstract:  Media reporting of violence against women (VAW) has the potential to contribute to improving the community's understanding and response to this social problem. However, journalists are not immune to gender biases and myths concerning VAW. Both can affect how the subject is framed. We look at an Australian training programme implemented to improve VAW news reporting practices such as including social context, family violence experts and help-seeking information for survivors, challenging myths and avoiding perpetrator exoneration and victim-blaming. We compare journalists' reporting before and after training and also compare the trained reporters' content with a matched comparison sample written by untrained journalists to see if training translates into best practice reporting. We conclude that reportage practices have improved overall in recent years and that the training model, in which participants were selected to take part, appears to be effective in improving some key elements of best practice reporting, but some areas of concern remain. We recommend more targeted programmes with curriculum additions to better address some reporting deficiencies we identify.
Notes: 

This research was included in the ANROWS Register of Active Research (RAR). The research has concluded and the output has been added to the ANROWS library. Please visit https://www.anrows.org.au/register-of-active-research/ for more information on the RAR.

PROJECT INFORMATION

PROJECT LEAD

Prof Patricia Easteal
Legal Light Bulbs and University of Canberra


PROJECT INVESTIGATORS/RESEARCHERS

Dr Georgina Sutherland
Dr Kate Holland
Dr Anne Blatchford


TOPICS

  • Media reporting

POPULATIONS

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities

  • Culturally and linguistically diverse communities

  • General population

GEOGRAPHICAL SCOPE

  • National

BACKGROUND

Media reporting of violence against women (VAW) has the potential to contribute to improving community understanding and response. However, journalists are not immune to gender biases and myths concerning VAW. Both can affect how the subject is framed. We look at an Australian training program implemented to improve VAW news reporting practices such as including social context, family violence experts and help information for survivors; challenging myths; and avoiding perpetrator exoneration and victim blaming. We compare journalists’ reporting before and after training and also compare the trained reporters’ content with a matched comparison sample written by untrained journalists to see if training translates into best practice reporting. We conclude that reportage practices have improved overall in recent years and that the training model, in which participants were selected to take part, appears to be effective in improving some key elements of best practice reporting, but that some areas of concern remain. We recommend more targeted programs with curriculum additions to better address some reporting deficiencies we identify.


AIM

This project aims to see if family violence training translates into best-practice reporting.


METHODS

To identify possible effects of training on VAW reportage, we compare news reports on VAW written by journalists prior to them taking part in the training program with their news reports written after the training. In addition, a comparison content group comprising articles written by journalists who did not take part in the training was used to compare the trained journalists’ content against a no-training condition. We used a mixed methods content analytic approach, which allowed us to look at media reporting in depth, as well as at how frequently aspects of that reporting occurred in the news stories.


SIGNIFICANCE

We make numerous recommendations that include tips for improving curriculum and design of the training method. We recommend that training programs need to show journalists how implicit messages may manifest in their reporting and the importance of citing VAW advocate and intersectional sources. We suggest increased attention, in training programs, to relevant sources of statistical information and experts who can comment on intersecting forms of discrimination and oppression. Also, we urge that journalists learn the importance of providing domestic violence help details. We provide ideas for policy changes that would encourage best-practice reportage.

 

PROJECT START DATE

August 2019


EXPECTED COMPLETION DATE

May 2021

URI: https://anrows.intersearch.com.au/anrowsjspui/handle/1/17008
Appears in Collections:ANROWS Completed Register of Active Research projects
ANROWS Notepad 2021

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