Coverage in Context: How Thoroughly the News Media Report Five Key Children’s Issues

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Casey Journalism Center on Children and Families

News coverage of children is dominated by quick crime and violence stories with little context, according to the study by the center, based at the University of Maryland. The study tracked stories in 12 daily newspapers and on four national television networks for three months last year, finding that more than 90 percent of the stories about children focused on youth crime and violence, or on abuse and neglect. Less than 5 percent “gave the public information to help connect those events to broader patterns and trends,” the center said.

The study also looked at coverage of child care, child health insurance and teen childbearing. 11 pages. Free online. Casey Journalism Center on Children and Families, 4321 Hartwick Rd., Ste. 320, College Park, MD 20740. (301) 699-5133,

The National Cross-Site Evaluation of High-Risk Youth Programs
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

This report lays out findings of a national assessment of the efficacy of certain programs run under the National High-Risk Youth Demonstration Grant Program, which is administered by SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Prevention. Comparing groups of youth who had finished a CSAP program to a group that had not, the report found that youth who had previously used illicit substances reported 10 percent less use than comparison groups at the end of the programs, and 22 percent less 18 months later.

The report also indicates that girls tended to internalize the lessons learned during programs more than boys did. While substance use rates for boys were 29 percent lower after the program than those in the comparison group, the difference had disappeared after 18 months. Among girls, substance use rates upon completion of a CSAP program were only 3 percent lower than a comparison group, but were 9 percent lower after 18 months. 140 pages. Free. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 5600 Fishers Ln., Rockville, MD 20857. (800) 729-6686,