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Reporting Domestic Violence - Guidelines for Journalists and Media Content Producers


From: Ministry for European Affairs and Equality
(Commission on Domestic Violence​​​)
​Published: ​22 November 2017
Running till: ​31 January 2018
​Last Updated: ​1 February 2018
1.        Background
The media is the lens through which the general public views domestic violence and it often distort domestic violence.  Australian studies found that “media reporting of the most salacious aspects of violence against women provides the public with a perspective that is provocative but not representative,” (Media Representations of Violence Against Women and Their Children) published by Our Watch.
In general, the media treats women and men differently. The Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP) 2015 found that, in Malta, the overall presence of women in the news was 16%. However when women do appear in the news, everyday sexism prevails; women are identified around variables such as age and marital status and they are more likely to be described as victims (Murphy 2015).
Research shows that the media tends not to reflect the prevalence and severity of family violence and can unintentionally perpetuate commonly held but untrue beliefs about domestic violence. Yet statistics show that family violence is one of the most significant social issues in terms of number of people affected, long-term life effects and cost to the country.
The media has a responsibility to report this issue accurately. News stories need to inform about the true nature of family violence, 1) how many people are affected and in what way, and 2) what we can do about it.
These guidelines are for all content producers for all formats – broadcast, print and digital media – and will be web-based with additional resources for easy use.
2.        Documents
3.        Submission of input
Submissions were sent in through the following channels:
By filling the online form.
Submissions were received by 31st January, 2018.
We thank you for your input.
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·         Disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act (Chapter 496)
As we are a public authority all documents we hold, including documents related to this public consultation process, may be released following a request to us under the Freedom of Information Act (Chap. 496), unless such request may be subject of an exemption arising from the same Act.


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Press Release no. 172644 issued on 22 Nov. 2017