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Media and Drugs

Title: The Media and Drugs: A Content Analysis of Conversation Shifts Between Drug Wars.
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Name(s): Craig, Chloe, author
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Bachelor Thesis
Date Issued: 2018-11-27
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: The media in the United States (U.S.) continues to expand its broad reaching coverage which shapes national discourse and perceptions about crime. Thus, it becomes increasingly important to assess the information that is being produced and disseminated through this medium. The purpose of the current research is to employ a content analysis of four widely circulated news sources, The New York Times (NYT), The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), The Washington Post, and USA Today, within the years 1987, 2005, and 2015 to assess the variability in media coverage and how the discussion of drugs and drug usage in these news sources has changed over time. This research focuses specific attention on whether the coverage changed, in part, as a result of the demographic shift in drug usage or some other bias process. This research seeks to shed light on implicit bias that underlies the news coverage as well as the policy responses to the drug problem in the U.S. In the analyses, four major themes emerged: criminality and social control, descriptions of treatment and rehabilitation, race and racial subtext, and policy. As hypothesized, there is a substantial decrease in the discussion of criminal justice responses to opioid use compared to methamphetamine (meth) and crack use. In addition, treatment was increasingly more likely to be discussed as time progressed, which suggest that this discussion was most common during the opioid crisis. Additionally, race seemed to play a large role within each time period as there were high counts of racial subtexts over all three time periods. Black Americans were labeled using low socioeconomic and criminal/violent descriptions, and White Americans were described as having higher potentials and access to resources. Finally, as policies shifted over these three time periods, so did the media coverage. The discussion within the meth epidemic is broader and contains slightly more personal stories, and the opioid crisis contained the highest number of individual stories connected with policy implementation. The results of this study highlight the relevance of the media and how they can control the conversation about major social ills in society. Thus, it is critical to understand how the media constructs narratives about social problems, and it is important for the media to recognize how the biases in its coverage can impact society at large. Overall, the significant shifts in media conversation about drugs can influence bias among readers. Society absorbs media messages regularly and will commonly use the media to form opinions about hot topics or relevant topics within the news. This study calls for news sources to recognize implicit biases and understand the impact of the way news is covered.
Identifier: FSU_libsubv1_scholarship_submission_1543956341_2ce10521 (IID)
Keywords: Honors thesis, content analysis, drugs, media, criminologyThe media in the United States (U.S.) continues to expand its broad reaching coverage which shapes national discourse and perceptions about crime. Thus, it becomes increasingly important to assess
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fsu/fd/FSU_libsubv1_scholarship_submission_1543956341_2ce10521
Owner Institution: FSU

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Craig, C. (2018). The Media and Drugs: A Content Analysis of Conversation Shifts Between Drug Wars. Retrieved from http://purl.flvc.org/fsu/fd/FSU_libsubv1_scholarship_submission_1543956341_2ce10521