Bias, the Media, and Research on
(See: Drugs in American Society,
5th, 6th, and 7th editions, Erich Goode, McGraw-Hill, 1999/2005/2008.
Chapter 5 and 6)
there bias in the news media?
- Does the media source
have the facts right?
and what sort of facts are being presented?
of media bias
elitist theory: Depicts the media as a tool of
the dominant group
media as a structural mechanism, operates, as all superstructural
elements, in the interests of the "status quo."
control, and conscious operation, of media outlets-- in the interests
of the existing power structure.
bottom-line is profit:
- Profit may be tied
to ideological orientation (elite dominance), but typically not.
- The media caters to
the interests of the masses.
- Whatever draws mass
appeal is covered.
and values of professional journalism
of a conflict between objectivity and "selling the news."
and drugs: relevant to all four theories.
attention away from structural issues (control people rather than change
guts, sex, and drugs sell
masses seem to love a "hot" story
a story to "drive it home."
Drugs in the media
wins Pulitzer prize for article on "Jimmy" the 8-year old heroin addict
(Washington Post, September 28, 1980). Turns out to be a fabrication.
8-year old addicts exist. Probably. How many--few.
likely is it for addicts to encourage their children to shoot-up?
addicts give away heroin?
Crack related homicides
in 1985 (media coverage)
rise in crack-related murders by 1989
as "random violence."
to "ruling elite theories" [issue of a government conspiracy to
a) distribute crack, and b) to use it as a way of deflecting attention away
from other issues]
to "money machine" issues and "populist" theories, too.
- Lying in social science
- People are surprisingly
- Certainly, under-reporting
is a reality
- Relative accuracy,
and long-term trends.
- Representative samples
- Missing cases
- Descriptive (how
many, who, where, which)
- Inferential (correlations
- Temporal element
- Logic and spurious
- Constants (control
Rates and Patterns
- Past year
- Past month
- Daily (20 out of 30
- User loyalty
- Drugs likely to be given
- Amount and frequency
- Cigarettes: 425 billion
consumed in 2001 (versus 85 billion drinks)
- Use linked to age
- Aging out phenomenon
and Trends in Drug Use
Owner: Robert O. Keel firstname.lastname@example.org
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Friday, September 28, 2012 9:21