Engaging the News Media to Influence Attitudes, Norms and Behaviours and Reduce the Rates of Domestic Violence

This document is the first step in a larger exploration of how best to engage the Canadian media to influence societal attitudes, norms and behaviours around the prevention of domestic violence. Research shows that the vast majority of the public receives information regarding social issues and world affairs through news media channels. Further, it is suggested that the Canadian news media inappropriately reports on instances of domestic violence, thereby influencing attitudes of the general public and policy makers. This paper suggests that if news media professionals were better educated about domestic violence and how to appropriately report on instances of domestic violence, and legislation encouraged the media to report on domestic violence in a particular way, public opinion and attitudes may be influenced.
Wells, L., Koziey, L., & Ferguson, J. (2012). Engaging the news media to influence attitudes, norms and behaviours and reduce the rates of domestic violence. Calgary, AB: The University of Calgary, Shift: The Project to End Domestic Violence.