• Brexit: The Golden Chalice of European Demos Formation?

      O'Leary, Erin; University of Chester
      In all its chaos, divisiveness and uncertainty, Brexit has not only raised considerable constitutional questions for the United Kingdom (UK) but has also led to the European Union (EU) reflecting on its self, its direction and how it comprehends and defines its existence both internally and on the global platform. One branch of speculative discussion on what a post-Brexit EU will look like is consideration of the role that the English language will play in the EU’s institutions once the EU loses the Member State that houses the demos for whom that language is associated. Whilst much of this discussion has necessarily focused on whether a different language could become the unofficial lingua franca of the EU institutions in terms of the practicalities of its day-to-day workings, the future role and use of the English language as a democratic legitimacy tool has barely been remarked upon.
    • Child abuse in England and Wales 2003–2013: Newspaper reporting versus reality

      Davies, Emma; O'Leary, Erin; Reed, John; Liverpool John Moores University, UK; Swinburne University of Technology, Australia (Sage, 2015-10-15)
      This study examined how child abuse and neglect were reported in a sample of 459 newspaper articles between 2003 and 2013 in England and Wales. The results were compared with data on child abuse and neglect over the same decade. Sexual abuse was by far the most commonly reported, in both tabloid and broadsheet newspapers. Although neglect and emotional abuse are the most common causes of child protection plans in England and Wales, neglect and emotional abuse are relatively invisible in newspaper articles, as is physical abuse. Possible explanations for this disproportionate focus on sexual abuse, which has also been found in Australia and the United States, include the fact that sexual abuse cases reach the criminal courts more often than other forms of child victimisation. Although broadsheet papers were more likely than tabloid newspapers to comment on causes and solutions beyond the individual perpetrator committing a crime, the majority of articles in broadsheet papers still did not frame either the causes or the solutions in broader terms. It seems possible that the notion of the decontextualised ‘evil’ perpetrator serves to distance journalist and reader alike from the pervasiveness and pain of child abuse. The article concludes with ideas to improve the accuracy and utility of the coverage of child abuse and neglect in newspapers.