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Media constructions of risk: a case study of the Stainforth Beck incident

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In October 2000 two schoolgirls were swept away from their party whilst ‘river walking' in Stainforth Beck near Settle in North Yorkshire. The paper examines this incident with reference to media coverage of the events at the time and the subsequent reportage. The discussion contributes to the debate concerning the appropriateness of an agenda of broadening education. We argue from a position that supports the principle of breadth, particularly when such activities are part of adventure education with its propensity to engage with outdoor risk settings. Whilst lessons must be learnt from such a tragic incident, it is important that outdoor professionals continue to disseminate the positive potential of adventure in order to offset the negative messages concerning risk promoted by the media in general.
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Keywords: adventure pursuits; media constructions; newspaper reporting; outdoor education

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Sport Sciences, De Montfort University, 37 Lansdowne Road, Bedford MK40 2BZ, UK

Publication date: 01 June 2005

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