Representations of public risk: Illegal drugs in the Australian media

Warwick Blood, Jordan Williams, Kerry McCallum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The paper draws upon recent research investigating news frames, and risk theory to analyse Australian national news coverage of illegal drugs. Recent research has elaborated how risks are socially defined and acted upon, especially given changing media representations of risks. Public understandings of the risks associated with illegal drug use, policing and policies develop through the continuing and often changing representations of these risks in the media, as well as through other social practices. This paper questions the role of some prominent newspapers in setting alarmist and sensational frames to define risk in this context, and demonstrates how journalism can heighten community fear
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-100
Number of pages19
JournalMedia International Australia Incorporating Culture and Policy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2003


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