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ARTICLE: Irregular migrant children in the news

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Journalists have an ethical responsibility to protect vulnerable groups and individuals, but also to shed light on their stories and include their perspectives, writes Anna Grøndahl Larsen. Children are a particularly vulnerable group.

The focus of the study is on two stories concerning two children and their families struggle to gain permanent residency in Norway. The study illuminates how journalists balance ethical, professional, and organizational concerns in reporting these stories. The study is based on 13 interviews with journalists and editors and three interviews with four key actors in the advocacy groups of the two children, and a close reading of 264 articles concerning the selected cases.

According to the writers journalists mainly viewed irregular migrant children as innocent victims of the system and this had important implications for the journalistic assessment and reporting of the stories. The results show how journalists and news organizations might encourage more and higher-quality user engagement with the news.

The article is published online by Journalism Practice and it is available here.

Picture: The Great Journey of Leonard the Leaf by Nicholas Cardot, licence: CC BY 2.0

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