Young Offenders’ Interests and Motivations Related to Accessing TV and Press News

Maria João Carvalho, Juliana Serrão

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This paper aims to discuss how young offenders placed in Portuguese custodial institutions look at TV and press news, and what interests, motivations and habits they have in accessing news. Based on a questionnaire survey and individual interviews, the study involved 150 participants, of both sexes, between 12 and 21 years of age. It focused on a population that tends to gain the media’s attention, but their own interpretation of social matters has rarely been heard. The results reveal they were particularly interested in news
on two issues: children in danger, and crime. News are regarded as a crucial link to the outside world, and through the analysis young offenders made of their choices, they (re)viewed their life trajectories and projected into an aftercare future. Many had direct contact with journalists in a double sense, ‘delinquent actor’ vs. ‘social actor’, and diametrically opposed meanings emerged from their experiences.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-173
Number of pages23
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • youth participation
  • young offenders
  • delinquency
  • juvenile justice system
  • custodial institutions
  • TV and press news


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