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David Buckingham's presentation for MediaMag conference

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  1. 1. Reading the Riot Acts David Buckingham Institute of Education, London University
  2. 2. Medao Media – Representations Uses and effects Public knowledge
  3. 3. Representing riots
  4. 4. Representing riots
  5. 5. Representing riots
  6. 6. Representing riots
  7. 7. Representing youth <ul><li>IPSOS MORI Survey 2005: </li></ul><ul><li>40% of articles focus on violence, crime, anti-social behaviour; 71% are negative </li></ul><ul><li>Brunel University 2007: </li></ul><ul><li>TV news: violent crime or celebrities; young people are only 1% of sources </li></ul><ul><li>Women in Journalism 2008: </li></ul><ul><li>72% of articles were negative; 3.4% positive </li></ul><ul><li>75% about crime, drugs, police </li></ul><ul><li>Boys: yobs, thugs, sick, feral, hoodies, louts, scum </li></ul><ul><li>Only positive stories are about boys who died young </li></ul>
  8. 8. Folk devils and misrepresentations? <ul><li>[In a moral panic] a condition, episode, person or group of persons emerges to become defined as a threat to societal values and interests; its nature is presented in a stylized and stereotypical fashion by the mass media; the moral barricades are manned by editors, bishops, politicians and other right-thinking people; socially accredited experts pronounce their diagnoses and solutions; ways of coping are evolved or (more often) resorted to; the condition then disappears, submerges or deteriorates and becomes more visible. </li></ul><ul><li>Are moral panics just irrational? </li></ul><ul><li>Do the media simply misrepresent young people? </li></ul><ul><li>Do the media make people more fearful? </li></ul>
  9. 9. Blaming the media
  10. 10. Blaming new media
  11. 11. Facebook riots and revolutions?
  12. 12. Rioting 2.0? <ul><li>Turning off the internet! </li></ul><ul><li>Do media cause riots or revolutions? </li></ul><ul><li>Technology and surveillance: mobile phones, CCTV, 24-hour news…. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Opinions and explanations <ul><li>How are issues ‘framed’? </li></ul><ul><li>Who claims ‘ownership’ of an issue? </li></ul><ul><li>Who’s an expert? </li></ul><ul><li>Is this democratic media – or just instant opinions? </li></ul>
  14. 14. Broken Britain <ul><li>Max Hastings: Daily Mail </li></ul><ul><li>Years of liberal dogma have spawned a generation of amoral, uneducated, unparented, welfare dependent, brutalised youngsters. </li></ul><ul><li>They are essentially wild beasts. I use that phrase advisedly, because it seems appropriate to young people bereft of the discipline that might make them employable; of the conscience that distinguishes between right and wrong. They respond only to instinctive animal impulses — to eat and drink, have sex, seize or destroy the accessible property of others… </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>The depressing truth is that at the bottom of our society is a layer of young people with no skills, education, values or aspirations. They do not have what most of us would call ‘lives’: they simply exist. They are products of a culture which gives them so much unconditionally that they are let off learning how to become human beings… My dogs are better behaved and subscribe to a higher code of values than the young rioters of Tottenham, Hackney, Clapham and Birmingham. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Unequal Britain <ul><li>Cuts, youth unemployment, EMA, youth service… </li></ul><ul><li>Bankers, politicians expenses, Cameron and Boris </li></ul><ul><li>Peter Oborne: Daily Telegraph: </li></ul><ul><li>The rioting cannot be dissociated from the moral disintegration in the highest ranks of modern British society… It has become acceptable for our politicians to lie and to cheat… the sad young men and women, without hope or aspiration, who have caused such mayhem and chaos over the past few days… have this defence: they are just following the example set by senior and respected figures in society. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Expert opinion? <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  17. 17. Explaining riots
  18. 18. Explaining riots
  19. 19. Why Media Studies? Representations Uses and effects Public knowledge Speaking back