Saturday, February 29, 2020
Analyzing The Moral Panic Of Media Media Essay
Analyzing The Moral Panic Of Media Media Essay Thompson(1998) describes 5 key elements in a moral panic. It is something or someone who is defined as a threat to values and interests; the threat is depicted in an easily recognisable form by the media, with use of aspects such as Exaggeration, distortion, prediction and symbolisation. This then causes a rapid build up of public concern. Newspaper coverage and news broadcasts are commonly known to exaggerate issues in society which then encourage the public to react timorous to the concerns. Lastly, moral panics are continuously used to result in; a response from the authorities or opinion-makers. Thus, this included changes made evident from law enforcement, the councils and general charity organisations. The final element is that panic recedes or results in social changes. There are many issues that are often subject to moral panics such as Youth Crime/Gun Crime, Binge Drinking, child abuse, sex and violent behaviour, drug abuse, paedophilia, the law and asylum seekers and immig ration policy. A moral panic can be defined in several ways, one definition is a kind of short-hand for public hysteria, by definition irrational, and is almost always held to be indicative of someone elses behaviour rather than our own (Critcher, 2003). The media directs its judgments and perspectives at members of society that are classed as unacceptable or deviant. In his book Moral Panics and the Media, Chas Critcher explains that Moral panics involve a Ã ¿Ã ½heightened level of concern over the behaviour of a certain group or category and the consequences that the behaviour presumably cause for the rest of society(Critcher,2003,pg 23). A moral panic must be manifested in concrete ways in other words there must be a public commentary in the form of media; such as newspaper coverage and news broadcasts. In relation to Thompsons description the media then proposes legislation and social movement activity. The media is acting as a voice for the public; some may argue that it offe rs biased/distorted views of issues which therefore cause a moral panic. Conversely, it can also be argued that the media plays a crucial role in establishing a moral panic as a way of creating awareness to the public; thus without media involvement this is not possible. A key subject that is continuously making heavy appearances in tabloid newspapers and news broadcasts daily; is Gun/Knife crime which is commonly affiliated with youth culture/youth gangs. To understand how Thompsons, Critchers and other theorists concept of moral panic works, analysis of media coverage is critical. The media has developed and distorted representations of British youth for a long time, and certain coverage in British cinema, documentaries, press coverage and broadcasting have made it evident that the representation of Ã ¿Ã ½youthÃ ¿Ã ½ is seen as a threat to many. However the coverage differentiates from different forms of media. The coverage of moral panics in broadcasting differs to press; tel evision news broadcasts, are described as unbiased and therefore have a minor affect on moral panics as the impact might have not been on such a large scale. However in major moral panics they tend to have the same large amount of coverage on daily.