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NCJ Number: 165822 Find in a Library
Title: Media and the Construction of Random Drug Violence (From Drugs, Crime, and Justice: Contemporary Perspectives, P 67-86, 1997, Larry K Gaines and Peter B Kraska, eds. -- See NCJ-165819)
Author(s): H H Brownstein
Date Published: 1997
Page Count: 20
Sponsoring Agency: Waveland Press, Inc.
Long Grove, IL 60047
Sale Source: Waveland Press, Inc.
4180 IL Route 83
Suite 101
Long Grove, IL 60047
United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A case example from New York City is presented to show how the news media, operating in a particular political context, effectively supported the movement of government policies on drugs and drug-related violence toward the right.
Abstract: Between 1986 and 1990, the news media in New York City constructed a compelling picture of a reality in which drug- related violence was spreading and becoming random in its selection of victims. In addition, the news media encouraged a belief in the growing vulnerability of white, middle-class people. The reactionary agenda toward drug users and drug traffickers resulted from a constellation of forces. Liberal government officials reacted to a perceived drug crisis by calling for a variety of programs. The news media, pursuing a sensational story that would sell the news and not contradict the policies of government officials on whom they depended for information, mobilized the white middle-class with an emphasis on the theme of random drug violence. Faced with an alarmed voting public calling for law and order, government officials promoted a drug scare that would permit spending on law enforcement programs during a time of fiscal crisis and overcrowded prisons. The drug scare associated with crack allowed the development of a conservative agenda in a liberal political environment. The author suggests that social scientists should play a more active role in influencing the news media and government policies. 63 references
Main Term(s): Drug Policy
Index Term(s): Crack; Drug regulation; Drug Related Crime; Media coverage; New York; Political influences; Violent crimes
Note: DCC
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