Breaking Silences: Media and the Child Abuse Royal Commission

We investigate the roles of media, journalism and social media activism in the ground-breaking Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (2013-17). This is the first major Australian research project to explore the nexus between media and commissions of inquiry in the digital era.
Our research uses a case study approach to critically analyse the impact of a rapidly changing media environment in triggering, reporting on and keeping alive the findings of the royal commission. Our goal is to ensure that victims of institutional child sexual abuse are heard and justice is upheld. 
The project brings together researchers across Australia and Norway with expertise in Political Communication, Journalism and Media Studies. We aim to empower governments, journalists and victim advocacy groups with the knowledge and tools to manage the public inquiry process.

Funding Agency

Australian Research Council / Discovery Project Shared Grant (DP190101282)


University of Canberra, Deakin University, University of Oslo Norway


Associate Professor Tanja Dreher

Organisational units