The Department of Social Policy & Social Work, within the Faculty for Social Wellbeing is organising a public lecture entitled 'Shifting the Narrative: 'Media and public understandings of child poverty'. The public lecture will be held on Friday 12 April at 12:00 in Gateway Hall D2, University of Malta Msida Campus.
The speaker is Dr Debbie Watson, School for Policy Studies, University of Bristol, United Kingdom.
Research with children in poverty has emphasised the ways in which poverty impacts all aspects of children's social, cultural and embodied experiences. Yet children reside in families and communities where assumptions have often been made by policy-makers and in wider society about people who are in poverty and need state support, with associated stigmatised positioning of some groups (Levitas, 2005; Kingston & Webster, 2015). This is exacerbated by mainstream media reporting, that, whilst not deliberately derogatory and discriminatory, may lack critical analysis. Knight et al (2018) undertook content analysis of eleven years of UK media coverage on family food bank use, identifying notable absences of, not only direct parent testimonies, but an almost complete absence of children’s experiences (Ibid.). This selective knowledge of child and family poverty that is reported and understood by the wider citizenry will be explored in this lecture where I will consider how children's experiences are represented through news and documentary media reporting in order to understand prevalent discourses.