Cheit 2014 Abuse

Title Information

Authors: Ross E. Cheit, Yael Shavit, Aaron Q. Weinstein, and Zachary Reiss-Davis

Title: Television Newsmagazine Coverage of Child Sexual Abuse

Subtitle: 1990-2005

Journal: Journal of Mass Communication & Journalism

Volume: 4

Issue: 5

Year: 2014

Pages: 9 pages

ISSN: 2165-7912 – Find a Library: Open Access Journal

Language: English

Keywords: 20th Century, 21st Century | U.S. History | Representations: Television; Types: Child Sexual Abuse

Full Text

Link: OMICS Group [Free Access]

Additional Information


Ross E. Cheit, Department of Political Science, Brown University

Aaron Q. Weinstein: Personal Website


Objective: There were two aims: first, to analyze trends in television newsmagazine coverage of child sexual assault (CSA) between 1990 and 2005; and second, to offer comparisons between this study and our previous work on print newsmagazine CSA coverage.
Method: A database was created to identify all relevant CSA stories appearing in seven primetime television newsmagazines. The study employs systematic analysis of segments by subject, length, and individual anchoring each broadcast.
Results: The results affirm established theories of CSA media coverage. Television segments contain an average of three news worthiness factors, which is more than was found of print newsmagazines. Findings also show differences in slant between the top three anchors (Dan Rather, Stone Phillips, and Barbara Walters), indicating significant editorial control in newsmagazine CSA coverage. Finally, this study shows that television news magazines offer more polarized coverage than print newsmagazines, and on different subjects (i.e. focusing on Michael Jackson, whereas print focuses on the Church sex abuse cover-up story).
Conclusions: Television news magazines offer skewed coverage of CSA. Like other media, they focus on "newsworthy" stories ("stranger-danger") rather than the most prevalent forms of CSA (intra-familial abuse). Given that this newsmagazine coverage is more polarized than print, however, we suggest that this coverage may have real impacts upon public policy and its implementation.« (Source: Journal of Mass Communication & Journalism)


  Introduction (p. 1)
  Literature Review (p. 1)
  Newsworthiness (p. 1)
  Print Newsmagazine Study (2010) (p. 2)
  Method, Data, and Variables (p. 2)
  Data (p. 3)
  Variables (p. 3)
  Findings (p. 4)
    Subject (p. 4)
    Newsworthiness (p. 4)
    Slant (p. 4)
    Anchor comparison (p. 6)
  Discussion (p. 7)
    Slant and Cycles (p. 7)
  Limitations (p. 8)
  Conclusions (p. 8)
  References (p. 9)

Added: July 19, 2014 | Last updated: July 19, 2014