School discipline coverage in Australian newspapers: impact on public perceptions, educational decisions and policy

Fields, Barry (2006) School discipline coverage in Australian newspapers: impact on public perceptions, educational decisions and policy. In: International Conference of the Australian Association for Research 2005 (AARE 2005): Creative Dissent: Constructive Solutions, 27 Nov - 1 Dec 2005, Sydney, Australia.


The role of the media in shaping public perceptions and opinions about significant political and social issues has long been the subject of both speculation and research. It is widely accepted that what we know about, think and believe about what happens in the world, outside of personal first-hand experience, is shaped, and some would say orchestrated, by how these events are reported in newspapers and communicated through the medium of radio and television. This paper explores how the topic of school discipline is covered by Australia’s major newspapers. Newspaper reports on discipline and related topics such as behaviour management, disruptive and antisocial behaviour in schools were examined for the period 2000 – 2004. The analysis focused on the types of topics covered, evidence of bias and the ‘message’ conveyed in the reports about this important and highly contentious subject. The paper concludes with a commentary the relationship between how discipline is reported on in the media and what actually happens in schools and how educational decisions and policy might be influenced by such reports.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Paper number FIE05290. Paper is copyright © by the individual author or authors and may not be reproduced without permission of the author or authors.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Education
Date Deposited: 31 Mar 2010 12:18
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2016 05:17
Uncontrolled Keywords: inclusive education; special education; newspapers; discipline
Fields of Research : 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170103 Educational Psychology
19 Studies in Creative Arts and Writing > 1903 Journalism and Professional Writing > 190399 Journalism and Professional Writing not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9301 Learner and Learning > 930104 Moral and Social Development (incl. Affect)

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