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British Sociological Association Annual Conference.
Social work, technology and the media: A content analysis of messages presented in newspapers across the Island of Ireland Katheryn Margaret Pascoe (Ulster University)
Media has the ability to present images of the world and influence the interpretation and construction of reality in society. Influencing the public image of the social work profession, media has commonly focused on crisis events such as child deaths, impacting the funding, credibility, authority and resourcing of social workers (Blomberg, 2019; Warner, 2014). In an increasingly internet-based and technology-driven world, technology use has increased in social work practice, often without conscious decision or critical reflection and with limited guidance in professional Codes of Ethics (Pascoe, 2020). As media shapes how consumers perceive and react to social issues, this research investigates the narratives presented in the media on social workers and their use of technology across the island of Ireland. Taking a 10 year period of analysis, the research investigates if attention in the media has increased and/or if messages have changed in response to Covid-19 and the increased need for remote service delivery models. With a growing reliance on technology, it is important to understand how the media is constructing the image of social workers in this dynamic space and what messages are being promoted as these can impact the day to day practice of social work and how the profession responds to technological developments now and in the future.