Toxic Legacy: A Content Analysis of New Zealand News Media Coverage of Methamphetamine

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dc.contributor.advisor Cohen, B en Fitzpatrick, Callum en 2018-06-18T00:52:32Z en 2018 en
dc.identifier.uri en
dc.description.abstract This thesis investigates New Zealand’s print news media coverage of methamphetamine to determine whether there was a moral panic surrounding the drug between 2009 and 2017. While previous research on the media coverage of methamphetamine has been conducted in New Zealand, none has examined the period since 2010. Goode and Ben-Yehuda’s (2009) five elements of a moral panic (concern, volatility, hostility, consensus and disproportionality) are utilised to create testable research questions. A content analysis of New Zealand's major newspapers is conducted, finding a total of 7819 articles. Exploratory quantitative analyses are conducted on these articles before a stratified-random sample of 413 articles is selected for in-depth quantitative and qualitative analysis. The results show that methamphetamine was the subject of a lengthy period of negative and misleading coverage particularly in terms of: the rates of use, the proportion of users who become addicted, and its effects on users and society more broadly. I argue that two periods in 2016 ostensibly achieve at least four of the Goode and Ben-Yehuda’s five elements of a moral panic. However, the first period in June 2016, demonstrates substantial disagreement between groups preventing consensus from being achieved. The second period, October 2016, appears to have caused only moderate public concern. I discuss possible explanations, and whether a period with one or more of the five elements missing can be considered a moral panic. A key novel finding is the introduction and increased focus of the news media on the issue of “methamphetamine contamination” between 2015 and 2017. I conclude by suggesting improvements for both the theoretical and empirical study of moral panics. en
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof Masters Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.relation.isreferencedby UoA99265067604502091 en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. en
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dc.title Toxic Legacy: A Content Analysis of New Zealand News Media Coverage of Methamphetamine en
dc.type Thesis en Criminology en The University of Auckland en Masters en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The author en
dc.rights.accessrights en
pubs.elements-id 744969 en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2018-06-18 en

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