Teaching Journalists About Violence Against Women Best Reportage Practices: An Australian Case Study

18 Pages Posted: 22 Mar 2021

See all articles by Patricia L. Easteal

Patricia L. Easteal

University of Canberra - School of Law and Justice

Annie Blatchford

University of Melbourne Law School

Kate Holland

University of Canberra - Faculty of Arts and Design

Georgina Sutherland

University of Melbourne - School of Population Health

Date Written: February 24, 2021

Abstract

Media reporting of violence against women (VAW) has the potential to contribute to improving the community’s 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 some areas of concern remain. We recommend more targeted programs with curriculum additions to better address some reporting deficiencies we identify.

Keywords: Violence against women reportage, Violence against women media training, Australia, Reporting violence against women court cases

JEL Classification: Z19, K39, K49

Suggested Citation

Easteal, Patricia L. and Blatchford, Annie and Holland, Kate and Sutherland, Georgina, Teaching Journalists About Violence Against Women Best Reportage Practices: An Australian Case Study (February 24, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3791766 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3791766

Patricia L. Easteal (Contact Author)

University of Canberra - School of Law and Justice ( email )

Australia

Annie Blatchford

University of Melbourne Law School ( email )

University Square
185 Pelham Street, Carlton
Victoria, Victoria
Australia

Kate Holland

University of Canberra - Faculty of Arts and Design ( email )

Australia

Georgina Sutherland

University of Melbourne - School of Population Health ( email )

4/207 Bouverie Street
Parkville, Victoria
Australia

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