Slater, M., Long, M., & Ford, V. (2006, November). Alcohol, Illegal Drugs, Violent Crime, and Traffic-Related and Other Unintended Injuries in U.S. Local and National News. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 67(6), 904-910. Retrieved July 6, 2009, from PsycINFO database.
Objective: The present study seeks to establish the extent to which media coverage acknowledges alcohol’s contribution to violent crime as well as to motor vehicle injuries and other injury incidents. Method: The study content-analyzes a unique sample, closely approximating national representativeness, of local and national television news, local newspapers, and national magazines randomly sampled during a 2-year period. Results: Alcohol’s role in violent crime and, to a lesser extent, in motor vehicle and other injury incidents is underreported relative to available estimates regarding alcohol-attributable fractions. Relative frequency of various news frames for coverage of alcohol and illegal drugs and differences in coverage of alcohol and illegal drugs as a function of the type of story and news medium are described. Conclusions: The underreporting in the United States of alcohol’s contribution to serious and fatal injury from these causes may reduce public perceptions of alcohol-related risks, potentially influencing behavior, including public support of alcohol-control policies. This provides an opportunity for media-advocacy approaches to improve public health content of news coverage. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2008 APA, all rights reserved)(from the journal abstract)