ERIC Number: ED436236
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
The News Media's Picture of Children: A Five-Year Update and A Focus on Diversity. Report [and] Executive Summary.
Chen, Perry; Kunkel, Dale; Miller, Patti
News media hold significant power and responsibility in focusing public attention on child-related issues. This document summarizes a study of news coverage of children in national media in 1994 and reports on the follow-up conducted in 1998. The follow-up study was based on a sample of national news coverage collected throughout November 1998 from five major newspapers and three broadcast networks. Part 1 of the followup study replicated and updated the 1994 study. Part 2 added an additional month over-sample to determine whether the coverage contained a primary focus on minority children. The findings of the 1994 study led to the conclusion that although news coverage of children was substantial, it was not balanced. Among the key findings of the follow-up study were the following: (1) child-related newspaper stories increased 37 percent over 5 years while television coverage remained unchanged; (2) the proportion of child-related news stories involving crime/violence dropped considerably, the proportion involving cultural/health issues increased considerably, and family/economic issues continued to account for the smallest number of stories; (3) children's voices were twice as common on television news as in newspapers; (4) both media provided very little practical information for parents in child-related news stories; (6) about 20 percent of stories addressed public policy concerns, down slightly from 1993; (7) children of color received little coverage, with African-Americans receiving more coverage than all others combined; and (8) stories about children of color focused on education more than crime/violence. (KB)
Descriptors: Children, Content Analysis, Cultural Differences, Cultural Pluralism, Followup Studies, Journalism, Mass Media, Mass Media Role, Minority Groups, News Media, News Reporting, News Writing, Nonprint Media, Programming (Broadcast), Television Research
Children Now, 1212 Broadway, 5th Floor, Oakland, CA 94612. Tel: 800-CHILD-44 (Toll Free), Tel: 510-763-2444; Fax: 510-763-1974; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Ford Foundation, New York, NY.; Miriam and Peter Haas Fund, San Francisco, CA.; Mott (C.S.) Foundation, Flint, MI.; Kellogg Foundation, Battle Creek, MI.; Rockefeller Foundation, New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: Children Now, Oakland, CA.