Does The News Media Exaggerate The Extent Of Drug Related Crime?

3424 words - 14 pages

Does the news media exaggerate the extent of drug-related crime?

“Legal drug teen ripped off his own scrotum.”

Although a seemingly facetious example, the above quote serves to illustrate the descent of drug use, and the crimes induced, inspired, defined by and systemic of drug abuse, into what Cohen described as a ‘moral panic’;

"A condition, episode, person or group of persons [who] become defined as a threat to societal values and interests."

The question asks whether the news media exaggerates drug-related crime. This essay takes the position that the news media does exactly this as part of its role in the ‘war on drugs’. It is proposed that elements of the news ...view middle of the document...

Pertinent examples of drugs having taken this journey include marijuana (Young) and LSD (Braden). (It should be noted that marijuana is the currently the subject of a reclassification, and in some cases declassification, debate and has actually received some supportive coverage by the news media since Young’s attention during the 1970’s. It would appear that the social and legislative journey of marijuana is far from over. Perhaps the best example of its ambiguity as a ‘mark’ in the ‘war on drugs’ is the recent case of Patricia Tabran or the ‘cannabis granny’ and its coverage by The Times. There is, however, a long way to go before marijuana sees blanket support from the news media and still faces overwhelmingly negative exposure.) Not only does this make it difficult to review the historic reporting of drug-related crime holistically, it means that the question itself faces a degree of uncertainty and is bound by its own politically and socially sensitive context.

Secondly, the media often face a conflict of interests between scientific opinion and the policy agenda of governments. The most obvious example of this being the recent dismissal of the former chairman of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, Professor David Nutt. Nutt was dismissed by then home secretary Alan Johnson after publishing a pamphlet and giving a series of lectures which argued against various decisions of the then Labour government in regard to drug policy; notably the reclassification of cannabis from a class C to a class B drug. This inconsistency and incompatibility of opinion can only make it harder for the media to accurately report on instances of drug-related crime and any accusations of exaggeration must be assessed in relation to both sets of interest; political and scientific.

Despite these difficulties and problems faced by and beyond the control of the news media, it is still arguable that the extent of drug-related crime is exaggerated. Historically, many theorists have suggested that the media go beyond the nuance surrounding drug-related crime and the fluid social status of drugs to create and assert ‘fantasy notions’ of drug takers and amplify the extent of the damage they cause. Becker revealed that marijuana users were labeled as outsiders, Downes argued that the media present the drug-addict as a ‘folk-devil’, Critcher reveals how the more recent phenomenon of ecstacy and rave culture has descended into a ‘moral panic’, whilst Coomber et al summarise the devotion of criminological theory to this specific area thusly;

“Exaggeration, distortion, inaccuracy, sensationalism; each of these labels has been consistently applied to the reporting of drug related issues in the print and other media over the last 40 years and beyond.”

It is evident therefore that the case for some parts the media presenting an amplified and somewhat alarmist account of drug-related crime is a strong one, substantiated by a...

Other Essays Like Does the News Media Exaggerate the Extent of Drug Related Crime?

Examine How the Media Causes Crime -21 Marks

1195 words - 5 pages found British newspapers allocate up to 30% of their news space to crime. However, many question whether media causes criminality. There are frequent ways in which the media might possibly cause crime and deviance and this includes the glamorisation of offending. As we have seen, the media overstates the amount of violent and unusual crime, and they exaggerate the threats of certain groups of people becoming its victims, such as young women and

Mircobology in the News Essay

536 words - 3 pages Running Head: UNIT 1. ASSIGNMENT 1: MICROBIOLOGY IN THE NEWS Unit 1. Assignment 1: Microbiology in the News December 15, 2014 Microbiology SC2730 ITT Technical Institute There is a team of researchers, Neurobiologist Ryan Watts and his colleagues at the biotechnology company Genentech in South San Francisco, who has discovered a way to move anti-bodies through the blood brain barrier by transferrin in monkeys. This could

Neuroscience in the News

1496 words - 6 pages Neuroscience in the News Dementia happens to be one of the major disorders that effect elderly people and the loved ones closest to them. The memory lapses, personality changes and impaired reasoning associated with dementia are a few reasons why this degenerative disease continues to be researched. With research comes reporting, and many times the report in which the research is delivered is easily filled with misguiding propaganda from the

Population in the News

566 words - 3 pages Population in the News The new 2011 census estimates changes in the nation's racial make (Reddy, 2011). Minorities increased 1.9 percent to 114.1 million, or 36.6 percent of the total U.S. population. According to the latest data, the percentage growth of Hispanics slowed from 4.2 percent in 2001 to 2.5 percent last year with the groups driven by births and immigration (Yen, 2012). The Hispanics population growth would have been even lower if

To What Extent Does Marilyn Lake's Analysis Of The 1890s Apply To Current Constructions Of Australian Masculinity?

1643 words - 7 pages The following essay will discuss the question "To what extent does Marilyn Lake's analysis of the 1890s apply to current constructions of Australian masculinity?" Each competing idea/construction will be discussed and presented, and this question will be approached and supported with the appropriate supporting evidence and as this paper proposes that the answer is based on opinion, the use of some non-academic references will be included

To What Extent Does Shakespeare Reveal That “Something Is Rotten in the State of Denmark” in Act 1

891 words - 4 pages To what extent does Shakespeare reveal that “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark” in Act 1. In Act 1 Scene 4 Marcellus state that there is “something rotten in the state of Denmark” and Shakespeare goes to prove Marcellus to be right through his use of politics, faith and individuals. Thus conveying to the Jacobean audience that “something is rotten in the state of Denmark” but also portraying a sense of tragedy which coincides with the

The Future of Crime Theory

893 words - 4 pages many profilers, who attempt to explain how one becomes such a violent criminal (Myer, 2000). To accomplish such a task requires an integrated crime theory developed from the offender’s birth to his or her apprehension. Only through extensive dissecting of all influences is it possible to understand the motivations behind committing violent crime. One aspect of an offender’s life does not hold the answers to such brutal victimizations

The Problem Of Computer Crime

2391 words - 10 pages , from businesses, families, individuals, and most importantly, our children. Even as new technology has created more uses for its users, firewalls, password protections, and new programs to safeguard our children when viewing the Internet, our vulnerability increases with our perceived values and reliance on this new technology. There are new increased opportunities for the deviant individual than was ever thought of. Computer crime started

To What Extent Does The Writer Present The Individual As Powerless In The Face Of Society In "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest"?

1615 words - 7 pages feeling powerless, in the face of society, by the other patients, by Nurse Ratched, and his mother. Also the feeling of powerlessness, leading to the extent of self-inflicted harm, fear, humiliation and even death.'If we had the g-guts! I could go outside today, if I had the guts. My m-m-mother is a good friend of M-Miss Ratched, and I could get an AMA signed this afternoon, if I had the guts!'One of the main key points Kesey is trying to show is

To what extent does the evidence provide us with a reliable view of the social effects of Roman Rule in the provinces?

1306 words - 6 pages To what extent does the evidence provide us with a reliable view of the social effects of Roman Rule in the provinces? 50 marks. Roman rule had much in the way of social effects on all the provinces of which it had control. Effects from Rome’s control can be seen in many respects but for this essay I shall consider the social effects as derived from the following themes: Revolts; Romanisation; The Imperial cult and Citizenship. Firstly

To What Extent Does the Structure, Language and Form of ‘the Swing’ by Don Paterson Explore His Ideas About Guilt Within the Context of His Collection, Rain?

1222 words - 5 pages To what extent does the structure, language and form of ‘The Swing’ by Don Paterson explore his ideas about guilt within the context of his collection, Rain? Don Paterson has described his 2009 collection, Rain, as ‘wall-to-wall death and divorce’. Rain is written in response to the death of his friend, Michael Donaghy, and the collection has an elegiac tone with guilt as its major theme. An analysis of Rain gives an understanding of

Related Papers

To What Extent Does Livy Meet The Aims Of His Pref

1617 words - 7 pages patriotic ideas to teach his readers that greatness can't be achieved if one doesn't possess the virtues which lead to a healthy and moral society.As well as all the other morals and principles, Livy seeks to emphasise the importance of pudicitia. He does this by referring to the story of Lucretia's rape and suicide near the end of Book 1. It serves as an example of how important chastity was for the well-being of society. It also serves as an

The Purpose Of News In American Society

1645 words - 7 pages and factual news somewhere (Media Awareness Network, What is News?). “But it can also mean shorter, more exciting stories; flashy, sexy, shocking images; crime, death, disaster, tragedy; confrontation, violence, controversy; or anything else that might attract viewers or readers. When taken to extremes (as in the “tabloid” newspapers or television shows), “news” can become just another type of sensational entertainment” (Media Awareness Network

Does The Media Influence Violent Behavior?

858 words - 4 pages Does the Media Influence Violent Behavior? The media consist of television, movies, newspapers, radio, internet, and video games just to name a few. The media influence on violent behavior has been a debate for many years and not just violent behavior but all behaviors. There has been research after research to study violence and sexual actions from the media and the effects they have on people and especially children. On July 26, 2000

The Causes Of Crime Essay

1558 words - 7 pages Missing Works Cited The Causes of Crime The causes of crime seem to be indefinite and ever changing. In the 19th century, slum poverty was blamed; in the 20th century, a childhood without love was blamed (Adams 152). In the era going into the new millennium, most experts and theorists have given up all hope in trying to pinpoint one single aspect that causes crime. Many experts believe some people are natural born criminals who are born