A Critical Analysis of the Print Media Representation of Children and Young People during Transition from Conflict in Northern Ireland

Gordon, F. 2012. A Critical Analysis of the Print Media Representation of Children and Young People during Transition from Conflict in Northern Ireland. PhD thesis Queen's University Belfast School of Law

TitleA Critical Analysis of the Print Media Representation of Children and Young People during Transition from Conflict in Northern Ireland
TypePhD thesis
AuthorsGordon, F.
Abstract

At a time of political, economic and social change in Northern Ireland, this thesis is concerned with how children and young people are represented in print media coverage and the implications of this coverage in a post-conflict transitioning society. Specifically it explores how children and young people’s perceived involvement in ‘anti-social’ and ‘criminal’ behaviour, are ascribed and amplified in media, popular and political discourses. The theoretical framework of this thesis is derived in critical analysis within criminology. The thesis draws on concepts developed within the labelling perspective, in particular ‘deviancy amplification’, ‘folk devils’ and ‘moral panics’. In providing an evidence-base, the empirical research includes content analysis of print media collected over six months (March 2010 to August 2010) and a case study of what was represented as youth involvement in ‘sectarian’ rioting in July 2010. In exploring the role of the media and the impact of negative media representations on social reaction, this study includes interviews with editors and journalists, politicians and policy makers, and a spokesperson for the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI). The study prioritises the ‘view from below’ by including the experiences of children, young people and their advocates. It explores the impact of negative representations and social reaction on children and young people’s perceptions of themselves and their peers, and on subsequent behaviour. It considers the perceived impact on advocates and on the effectiveness of service provision. The study also considers the means children, young people and their advocates have, and the constraints they face, when challenging media representations and seeking redress. This involves analysis of children’s status in rights provision and consideration of whether children and young people should be treated as a special case when it comes to media regulation. The empirical findings confirm the proposition that children and young people are convenient scapegoats, as the negative reputation ascribed to them invariably diverts attention from the structural and institutional issues that are inevitable in a society accommodating a gradual transition from conflict. The thesis also draws out the implications and challenges for the researcher in conducting critical research.

Keywordsmedia; young people; conflict; transition; critical analysis
Year2012
Publication dates
Completed12 Dec 2012

Related outputs

‘“Adults decided our fate”: Children and young people navigating space, territory and conflicting identities in the “new” Northern Ireland
Gordon, F. 2018. ‘“Adults decided our fate”: Children and young people navigating space, territory and conflicting identities in the “new” Northern Ireland. in: Stahl, G., Habib, S. and Ward, M. (ed.) Youth, Place and Theories of Belonging Routledge.

Children, Young People and the Press in a Transitioning Society Representations, Reactions and Criminalisation
Gordon, F. 2018. Children, Young People and the Press in a Transitioning Society Representations, Reactions and Criminalisation. London Palgrave Macmillan.

Guilty until proven innocent? How a legal loophole is being used to name and shame children
Gordon, F. 2017. Guilty until proven innocent? How a legal loophole is being used to name and shame children.

How children feel when journalists exploit their social media profiles
Gordon, F. 2016. How children feel when journalists exploit their social media profiles . Forum on Geopolitics, Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Cambridge.

How children feel when journalists exploit their social media profiles
Gordon, F. 2016. How children feel when journalists exploit their social media profiles. Schools Improvement.

Journalists needs to stop exploiting children’s social media profiles: Children’s rights are being breached in the race for content
Gordon, F. 2016. Journalists needs to stop exploiting children’s social media profiles: Children’s rights are being breached in the race for content. The NewStatesman.

How children feel when journalists exploit their social media profiles
Gordon, F. 2016. How children feel when journalists exploit their social media profiles. The Conversation.

‘Five Tips for Early Career Researchers who want to Engage with Government’, Health and Human Rights Blog, School of Law, Queen’s University Belfast
Gordon, F. 2016. ‘Five Tips for Early Career Researchers who want to Engage with Government’, Health and Human Rights Blog, School of Law, Queen’s University Belfast. Queen’s University Belfast.

Comment: When words can do damage
Gordon, F. 2016. Comment: When words can do damage. The View. 37, p. 26.

Publication of children’s images, privacy and Article 8: judgment in the matter of An Application by JR38 for Judicial Review (Northern Ireland) [2015] UKSC 42
Gordon, F. 2016. Publication of children’s images, privacy and Article 8: judgment in the matter of An Application by JR38 for Judicial Review (Northern Ireland) [2015] UKSC 42. Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly. 67 (2), pp. 257-261.

Research Findings published in ‘Truth about Youth: Issues relating to the media and to policing’. ARK Northern Ireland Policy Brief
Gordon, F. 2015. Research Findings published in ‘Truth about Youth: Issues relating to the media and to policing’. ARK Northern Ireland Policy Brief. OFMDFM, University of Ulster and Queen’s University Belfast.

Book Review: Charles Krinsky (ed.), Moral Panics over Contemporary Children and Youth. Surrey: Ashgate, 2008
Gordon, F. 2010. Book Review: Charles Krinsky (ed.), Moral Panics over Contemporary Children and Youth. Surrey: Ashgate, 2008. Media, Culture & Society. 32 (3), pp. 533-535. doi:10.1177/01634437100320031102

Book Review: Louise North, The Gendered Newsroom: How Journalists Experience the Changing World of Media, Creskill, NJ: Hampton Press, 2009
Gordon, F. 2010. Book Review: Louise North, The Gendered Newsroom: How Journalists Experience the Changing World of Media, Creskill, NJ: Hampton Press, 2009. Journalism. 11 (3), pp. 377-379. doi:10.1177/14648849100110030802

Book Review: Marissa Sandler and Deborah Coles, Dying on the Inside: Examining Women’s Deaths in Prison, Inquest, 2008; 192pp
Gordon, F. 2010. Book Review: Marissa Sandler and Deborah Coles, Dying on the Inside: Examining Women’s Deaths in Prison, Inquest, 2008; 192pp. Punishment and Society. 12 (4), pp. 507-510. doi:10.1177/14624745100120040504

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