This paper reviews psychological research on the social impact of the media, concentrating on television as it is the most studied medium. It focuses on aspects of the media that have raised concern, including:

  • violence in children’s media
  • advertising directed at children
  • representations of crime
  • the portrayal of ethnic diversity and conflict.

Recommendations for responding to these issues aim to minimise the negative effects that have been identified, and maximise the positive potential of the media.

Media representations and responsibilities - Acrobat icon - small (264kb). To go straight to a specific section in the report, click on the quick index headings on the front page.


  • Executive summary
  • Further resources and relevant organisations
  • Appendix A: Reviews of the effects of media violence on children, by year and nation
  • References

Fact sheets

The following fact sheets are extracted from the Media Representations and Responsibilities Position Paper.