Progress in 2012
Albury, Crawford and Byron hosted Green and danah boyd (Microsoft research New England) at a half-day project planning meeting at the Journalism and Media Research Centre (JMRC), UNSW, with Mathews.
Mathews completed an international review of legal approaches to sexting. Albury and Byron completed three focus groups with young people aged 16 and 17, exploring their understandings of sexting, media and the law. Albury, Byron, Crawford and Mathews produced a draft working paper with preliminary recommendations for adults working with young people, with JMRC hosting a stakeholder consultation in December 2012. Albury also completed ten interviews with sexuality educators as part of her ARC project (with Lumby) exploring the role of media in school and community-based sex education.
Green, Brady and Holloway did further work on the AU Kids Online research, which has been funded by the European Union to 2014. Their particular focus is preparing for a cross-cultural qualitative project which updates and adds value to the larger quantitative project completed in 2010-11. This work continues to produce outputs, and a report on evidence around whether Australian children experience excessive internet use was released in November, attracting considerable media interest as well as being selected by the ARC to feature on its website alongside other highlighted research.
Albury, Byron, Crawford and Mathews will complete the final report of their pilot project, for launch at UNSW and QUT in April 2013. Albury, Byron and Crawford will collaborate with Clare Bale (independent scholar), Clarissa Smith (University of Sunderland) and Feona Attwood (Middlesex University) to produce a comparative UK/Australian study of sexting, media and the law. Albury, Byron and Crawford will submit three articles based on the pilot study to peer-reviewed journals. Albury and Lumby will undertake further fieldwork in NSW schools, exploring young people’s understandings of the role of media in sexuality education and sexual learning.
Green, Brady and Holloway plan to produce two more short reports aligned with those published by the EU Kids Online network, as well as refereed journal articles and conference papers. Additionally, Green and Holloway are working with Dr Leslie Haddon (London School of Economics) on an ARC Discovery Project held by Green & Haddon on ‘parents or peers, which has most influence and how?’ That research is now in the interview stage and will shortly start to produce outputs. Although not part of the EU/AU Kids Online study, the parents and peers research complements it.
Hartley is planning a new book project, for a new series on the Entertainment Industries edited by Alan McKee, Christy Collis, Tanya Nitins and Stephen Harrington (QUT) for Palgrave-Macmillan (London), under the working title of Girls as Entertainment: Girls as Signs of Risk.
The ‘Young people and sexting in Australia’ study has produced a draft typology of young people’s media production practices, and a set of draft recommendations for educational and legal responses to these practices. Adult stakeholders (including lawyers, law enforcement professionals, academic researchers and educators) have provided feedback on these recommendations, and a final report will be released in 2013.
The AU Kids Excessive Internet Use demonstrated that Australia was atypical when compared to 25 nations in Europe, in that behaviours associated with excessive internet use peak at around 13 before declining in the middle teen years. In Europe there is a linear relationship with age: the older the child (aged 9-16) the more likely they are to experience behaviours associated with excessive internet use. One implication is that Australian parental mediation is working well and parents are managing early symptoms of excessive internet use in ways that allow the behaviour to be better managed as the child matures.