alexa How the media do drugs: quality control and the reporting of drug issues in the UK print media.


Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy

Author(s): Coomber R, Morris C, Dunn L

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Abstract Exaggeration, distortion, inaccuracy, sensationalism; each of these labels has been consistently applied to the reporting of drug related issues in the print and other media over the last 40 years and beyond. This research sought to understand what quality control mechanisms are employed by the UK print media in relation to issues related to illicit drugs to ensure accurate, informed and appropriate reporting. It was found that the print media in the UK employ almost no quality control mechanisms to ensure that such reporting takes place and that they predominately rely on the demonstrably insufficient qualities of the 'good reporting' skills that journalists bring to their research and writing. What concerns did exist regarding accuracy related predominately to protecting the publication from being sued for libel and no specific journalistic expertise of drug issues was considered necessary. A discussion of these issues is undertaken followed by the recommendation for the production of a negotiated media guide.
This article was published in Int J Drug Policy and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy

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