Lastega seotud seksuaalvägivalla kajastamine meedias



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Tartu Ülikool



The aim of this Bachelor’s thesis „Child Sexual Abuse in the Media” was to analyze the coverage of sexual abuse of children through three different cases and evaluate, to which extent media offers explanations or solutions to this social problems and how coherent it is to the law and the Estonian code of journalism ethics. The results of this research showed that media chose cases, which they already had some information or a prominent person was involved so the person could be identified. Also quite a lot self-reference was used in the media: something already published in the media was later used and referred as a fact. Many sources of information were left anonymous and the reasons for it where not given in the texts. Anonymous comments were used to appeal on readers emotions, accuse or present speculations about the perpetrator. Experts, statistics or other researches were not used in most of the articles. Possible causes or explanations for this social problem were not discussed. From the statements of information sources sub-discourse about the responsibility of parents came up, but it was not set as a focus in the news-stories. The blame was put on more anonymous unit, the police. The actions were covered using the discourse of perpetrators personal misbehavior and special notice for pedophilia as a disease or the possible signs of threat was not given. The symptoms or characteristics of pedophilia were given in one case, but they were referred as characteristics of specific perpetrator. So one can declare that media does not function as efficiently as it could when talking about its role in crime prevention. Texts do not make the audience ask the question „Why?” The language use of journalists was biased; emotionally loaded words and terms with more negative connotations instead of neutral ones were used. Perpetrators were shown as active actors. When covering the cases, many clauses of the code of journalism ethics were violated. Perpetrators were named guilty before they were sentenced guilty. Also one victim became identifiable through the coverage. Those three cases confirmed the concern of specialists working with children: media`s objectives when covering topics concerned with children are primarliy commercial. The whole aim of the ethical coverage of sexual violence concerned with children is to prevent violent acts in the future and increase the possibility to get help quickly and efficiently when needed. Unfortunately the criteria of newsworthiness contradict the basic ideas of the people working with children about what should be written in the media. When newsworthiness criteria are concerned, the sexual abuse of a child is chosen for coverage. But violence is covered in news, which does not enable discussion. However the problems, on what the discussion should be held, are presented in the news-stories as sub-discourses.


H Social Sciences (General), bakalaureusetööd, meedia, ajalehed, lapsed, väärkohtlemine, vägivald, seksuaalne vägivald, seksuaalkuriteod