Lonne, Bob and Parton, Nigel (2014) Portrayals of Child Abuse Scandals in the Media in Australia and England: Impacts on Practice, Policy, and Systems. Child Abuse & Neglect, 38 (5). pp. 822-836. ISSN 0145-2134

This article describes how the media have
played a key role in placing the issue
of child maltreatment and the problems
associated with child protection high on public
and political agendas over the last 50 years. It
also describes how the influence of the media
is far from unambiguous. Although the media
has been crucial in bringing the problems into
the open, it often does so in particular ways. In
being so concerned with scandals and tragedies
∗ Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Bob Lonne, School of Public Health and Social Work,
Queensland University of Technology, Victoria Park Road, Kelvin Grove, Queensland 4059, Australia. Electronic mail
may be sent to b.lonne@qut.edu.au.
in a variety of institutionalized and community
settings, the media have portrayed the nature
of child maltreatment in ways which deflect
attention from many of its core characteristics
and causes. A focus on the media is important
because of the power the media have to help
transform the private into the public, but at the
same time, to undermine trust, reputation, and
legitimacy of the professionals working in the
field. This concern is key for those working in the child protection field and has been a source
of tension in public policy in both Australia and
England for many years.

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