Journalist or panderer? Framing underage webcam sites

Special Issue Article


If the television brought images of the outside world into the home, web camera technology potentially inverts this trend by transmitting activities in the home to outside viewers. This article examines a high-profile case, first exposed by the New York Times, of teenagers using their home computers, web cameras, and other web-based commercial establishments such as PayPal to establish and conduct their own home-based, interactive Internet pornography businesses. The author considers recent journalistic and public policy discourses surrounding these sites—often run surreptitiously out of minors’ rooms—especially the uneasy representation of teens as simultaneously stars, victims, producers, perpetrators, and entrepreneurs. The author argues that what is being produced is not only a classic narrative of underage victims and adult perpetrators but also a new set of complex social and legal relationships enabled by and embedded within these new technologies.

Key words

journalism sexuality policy Internet child pornography technology 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EnglishVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmond

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