Sex Trafficking and the Media
Perspectives from Thailand and the United States
This book explores how sex trafficking has been reported in the media. The book is set in the context of reportage of this human rights abuse in two varying political landscapes – the United States being a developed democracy and Thailand experiencing continued political turmoil including a May 2014 coup d’état and an accompanying crackdown on free expression by the ruling military junta. In doing so, the book shows how there are great similarities between the two countries in the way the issue is misrepresented. Drawing on content analysis of news coverage in the United States and Thailand as well as interviews with journalists, anti-trafficking advocates, survivors of sex trafficking and consensual sex workers, this book illuminates reasons why coverage is framed in the way(s) that it is, how anti-trafficking advocates can act as media advocates to push coverage in new directions, and how journalistic functions are similar and different in the two countries.
Table of Contents
1. Sex Trafficking, Human Rights, and the Role of News Media. 2. Thai and American Political and Media Landscapes. 3. Differences in Sex Trafficking Between Thailand and the U.S., 4. Media Framing of Sex Trafficking in Thailand and the U.S., 5. Relationships Between Journalists, Activists, and Survivors in Thailand and the Resulting Journalistic Practices. 6. Relationships Between Journalists, Activists, and Survivors in the U.S. and the Resulting Journalistic Practices. 7. Conclusion & Looking Forward: Recommendations for Improving Coverage in Varying Political Landscapes
Meghan Sobel is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at Regis University, Colorado