Music therapy in the Australian print media: A content analysis

Music therapy in the Australian print media: A content analysis

Abstract

As music therapy is a relatively young profession, educating the public about "What is music therapy?" is a vital part of our work. Newspaper articles access a novice and wide-reaching audience and music therapy is now being reported in print media more frequently than a decade ago. This paper describes a study that investigated how music therapy has been reported in Australian print media over the last 10 years (1996-2006), examining 178 articles retrieved via the Factiva search engine. Mixed-methods content analysis strategies were utilised for this study to examine both the main foci of articles and the nature of quoted material. Quantitative results indicated that articles referencing music therapy usually focus on contextual information about clients, the role of music generally, and how both of these are relevant in contemporary society. Qualitative analysis of the words of music therapists (quotes) suggested that journalists may use a common sequence of questions to frame interviews, and these are proposed. Recommendations for further studies are also suggested.

 

Keywords: music therapy, print media, content analysis, mixed-methods research


Citation

Roberts, M., & McFerran, K. (2008). Music therapy in the Australian print media: A content analysis. Australian Journal of Music Therapy, 19, 27-42.


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Date published: July 2008