Print media and child welfare: a discourse analysis
Child welfare is an important social issue which the public is generally interested in hearing about. The media plays an important role in delivering child welfare news to the public. Media portrayals of child welfare issues are important because the discourses have the power to influence public opinion and perception. Presented are the findings using a qualitative methodology; a discourse analysis of how child welfare intervention is portrayed in 282 Canadian daily newspapers over a six year period between 2008 and 2014. The data shows that there is a tendency for the media to present an unfavourable view of child welfare and to classify child welfare intervention as having failed. The predominant discourses across the themes related to: blame of the child welfare system and government, for child welfare failures. The principal source of blame directed at the child welfare system was their failure to keep children safe, and government were found to be responsible for failing to provide child welfare agencies with sufficient resources to adequately function.