School discipline in the press: The Público journal between 2011 and 2015
This case study analyzes approaches to the theme of school discipline between 2011 and 2015, carried out by Público, a nationally distributed, generalist, daily newspaper in Portugal. The aim was to examine editorial practices on the theme of school discipline as well as the content of the media representation of this phenomenon, such as format, relief, authorship and sources, and news framing. Results of a keyword search of 1800 issues indicate: (a) low media coverage of discipline; (b) low presence of teacher and family voices and the absence of student voices; and (c) a multifaceted, less superficial approach to discipline than might be expected. The results also indicate (d) a representation of discipline as a worrying phenomenon due to its frequency, consequences and regulation, and thus, generating a negative image of the social and work climate in public schools. This study highlights the need to expand the voices of teachers and students in the written press, in order to contribute to a more plural narrative of a situation of which they are closely involved and knowledgeable, as well as of more research and analysis of this topic, given the potential influence of media discourse on social representations of schools.
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