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  1. 1. Reading the Riot ActsDavid BuckinghamInstitute of Education, London University
  2. 2. Media –RepresentationsUses and effectsMedaoPublic knowledge
  3. 3. Representing riots
  4. 4. Representing riots
  5. 5. Representing riots
  6. 6. Representing riots
  7. 7. Representing youthIPSOS MORI Survey 2005:40% of articles focus on violence, crime, anti-social behaviour; 71% are negativeBrunel University 2007:TV news: violent crime or celebrities; young people are only 1% of sourcesWomen in Journalism 2008:72% of articles were negative; 3.4% positive75% about crime, drugs, policeBoys: yobs, thugs, sick, feral, hoodies, louts, scumOnly positive stories are about boys who died young
  8. 8. Folk devils and misrepresentations?[In a moral panic] a condition, episode, person or group ofpersons emerges to become defined as a threat tosocietal values and interests; its nature is presented in astylized and stereotypical fashion by the mass media; themoral barricades are manned by editors, bishops,politicians and other right-thinking people; sociallyaccredited experts pronounce their diagnoses andsolutions; ways of coping are evolved or (more often)resorted to; the condition then disappears, submerges ordeteriorates and becomes more visible.Are moral panics just irrational?Do the media simply misrepresentyoung people?Do the media make people morefearful?
  9. 9. Blaming the media
  10. 10. Blaming new media
  11. 11. Facebook riots and revolutions?
  12. 12. Rioting 2.0?Turning off the internet!Do media cause riots or revolutions?Technology and surveillance: mobile phones, CCTV, 24-hour news….
  13. 13. Opinions and explanationsHow are issues ‘framed’?Who claims ‘ownership’ of an issue?Who’s an expert?Is this democratic media – or just instant opinions?
  14. 14. Broken BritainMax Hastings: Daily MailYears of liberal dogma have spawned a generation ofamoral, uneducated, unparented, welfare dependent,brutalised youngsters.They are essentially wild beasts. I use that phraseadvisedly, because it seems appropriate to youngpeople bereft of the discipline that might make thememployable; of the conscience that distinguishesbetween right and wrong. They respond only toinstinctive animal impulses — to eat and drink, havesex, seize or destroy the accessible property ofothers…The depressing truth is that at the bottom of oursociety is a layer of young people with no skills,education, values or aspirations. They do not havewhat most of us would call ‘lives’: they simply exist.They are products of a culture which gives them somuch unconditionally that they are let off learning howto become human beings… My dogs are betterbehaved and subscribe to a higher code of valuesthan the young rioters of Tottenham, Hackney,Clapham and Birmingham.
  15. 15. Unequal BritainCuts, youth unemployment, EMA,youth service…Bankers, politicians expenses,Cameron and BorisPeter Oborne: Daily Telegraph:The rioting cannot be dissociated from themoral disintegration in the highest ranks ofmodern British society… It has becomeacceptable for our politicians to lie and tocheat… the sad young men and women,without hope or aspiration, who have causedsuch mayhem and chaos over the past fewdays… have this defence: they are justfollowing the example set by senior andrespected figures in society.
  16. 16. Expert opinion? Vq2bs8M9HM GaKCBMNs4
  17. 17. Explaining riots
  18. 18. Explaining riots
  19. 19. Why Media Studies?RepresentationsUses and effectsPublic knowledgeSpeaking back