Media hierarchies of attention

News values and Australia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

Lisa Waller, Tanja Dreher, Kristy Hess, Kerry MCCALLUM, Eli Skogerbø

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Australia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (2013–17) was a highly significant legal exercise that devoted considerable expertise and resources to bearing witness and breaking silences surrounding child sexual abuse in all of its 57 case studies. In analysing the national media coverage we take a critical position to ask to what extent was this groundbreaking exercise in listening for justice reflected or amplified via mainstream news? A rich tradition of journalism and media studies contributes to the findings that routine patterns of media (in)attention produced asymmetries, with highly personalised church “scandals” drawing so much focus that they overshadowed institutional reviews and cases involving some of the most vulnerable and marginalised victims and survivors, with the effect of sidelining institutional responses designed to prevent child sexual abuse in future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalJournalism Studies
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Jun 2019

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