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Moving from Them to Us: Challenges in Reframing Violence among Youth

2009 | Download

How have youth and violence have been framed in the news? How has the issue of race complicated depictions of youth and violence? How do public attitudes about government inhibit public support for violence prevention?

This paper describes framing and the challenges particular to the context of violence prevention, with the goal of moving youth violence from being understood primarily as a criminal justice issue dealt with after the fact to being seen as a preventable public health issue.

Download the report.

Completed by PHI's Berkeley Media Studies Group, this report was commissioned by the Prevention Institute to inform its work with UNITY (Urban Networks to Increase Thriving Youth), a violence prevention program supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to strengthen and support cities in preventing violence. The paper includes:

  • An overview of framing generally, followed by a discussion of how framing applies to news in particular and how youth, race, and crime have been portrayed in news coverage.
  • A discussion of the current challenges for reframing violence among youth in the light of how race and government are framed.
  • Recommendations for how to reframe violence as a public health issue. 
  • The Appendix describes the methods for the literature review of research on news coverage included in the paper.