Martha Mamphey

Media influence in the framing of child sexual abuse

Using the Rotherham child sexual abuse as a case study, this research set out to explore media influence through the framing of child sexual abuse and how they reflect government response. A descriptive qualitative method was employed and draws upon framing theory to analyse how the Rotherham child abuse case has been framed by two national newspapers, The Times (Broadsheet) and the Daily Mail. Secondly a correlational analysis was conducted to analyse whether government response to the Rotherham child sexual abuse case resonates how The Times and the Daily Mail has framed the case. Two news frames, the human interest and the responsibility frames, as indicated by Entman (1991) cited by Lilleker (2007), were identified to have been used by the two newspapers in the framing of the Rotherham case. The findings of the research revealed that, government response to the case, echoes how the case has been framed by the media, although some of the statements made by government were in response to certain reports such as the Casey and the Jay reports, as stated in the findings.