July 2, 2014

REPORTS: Sensationalist media coverage skewing children’s ability to assess online risk

Sensationalist media coverage of online risks such as cyberbullying or the dangers of meeting an online 'friend' offline, may be acting as a barrier to effectively educating children on e-safety, a new report has claimed.
The report, released Monday 2 June from the EU Kids Online project based  at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), explores how children between the ages of 9-16 across Europe experience the internet.
The findings reveal that children are strongly influenced by the media's often  sensationalist reporting of certain online risks, despite the fact that these are in reality less likely to be experienced by the majority of online users.
This can lead to them focusing more attention on these potential risks than those  they are more likely to experience, such as exposure to violent or sexual content, which is in reality a more common online problem reported by children, or witnessing or receiving nasty messages.


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