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NCJ Number: 210443 Find in a Library
Title: Portrayal of Elder Abuse in the National Media
Journal: American Journal of Criminal Justice  Volume:29  Issue:2  Dated:Spring 2005  Pages:269-284
Author(s): Holly Beard; Brian K. Payne
Date Published: 2005
Page Count: 16
Publisher: HTML 
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: In order to better understand how elder abuse is portrayed in the media, this study used "newsmaking criminology" as a theoretical framework for examining how 11 newspapers described elder abuse.
Abstract: According to Barak (1988), "newsmaking criminology" refers to "criminologists' conscious efforts and activities in interpreting, influencing, or shaping the presentation of 'newsworthy' items about crime and justice." This analysis of 11 newspapers' portrayals of elder abuse used the LexisNexis database, focusing on the 5-year period of 1999-2003. Major papers in various regions of the United States were selected for the search. A total of 530 articles on elder abuse were retrieved from the 11 newspapers. Content analysis was conducted on the articles by using standard rules of manifest and latent content analysis. The content analysis identified a variety of reoccurring themes on elder abuse. These themes were categorized as processing themes, conceptual themes, civil law themes, program implementation themes, and legislative actions to prevent abuse. The most frequent reports tended to be descriptions of some aspect of the criminal justice processing of an elder abuse case, suggesting that the press tends to view elder abuse as a crime problem rather than a social problem. Only a few articles acknowledged that some cases of elder abuse were actually incidences of domestic violence. Neglect cases were infrequently cited as types of elder abuse, even though neglect is the most common form of elder abuse. In terms of policy, the findings suggest that the national press should be encouraged to cover more accurately and extensively the types of elder abuse that tend to be ignored. This article also suggests that the field of "newsmaking criminology" should be expanded to include a subfield called "newsmaking victimology." 81 references
Main Term(s): Elderly victims
Index Term(s): Crimes against the elderly; Domestic assault; Elder Abuse; Media coverage
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