Sensationalism,Society & State.

The mass media, it is claimed ,in the indulgence of the sensationalism which is one of their principal values, exaggerate relatively trivial acts of violence & misbehavior to the proportions of a major social or moral crises.                                                                                                    This perception is then taken over by various individuals & institutions of authority.-The court, the police various NGO’s schools ,who are often themselves a prisoners of the media in their understanding of society. Acting on these media images or propaganda,these individuals seek to stamp out the activities which have been highlighted ,thus confirming their reputation as grave social evils whlieat the same time paradoxically enhance their appeal to the others so far unaffected.In 1960’s in Britain,the media built up a panic over the relatively harmless activities of youth groups  such as The ROCKERS & the MODS ,leading to a glamorization of their cultural styles  & occasionaly pitched battles sometimes staged by the media between rival groups . These violent incidents then became the fuel for alarmist speeches by politicians & social workers & the impositions of tough penalties by the magistrates.   This in turn stimulated responses from the young amplifying the behavior first complained of.Similar situations have been created over MUGGING-the media suggesting a problem of US proportions & teenage promiscuity.While the mass media continue to be regarded as the primary producer of this so called moral panic or crises ,the term is now used of any kind of collective social or moral hysteria that is artificially , some time deliberately generated.Sources : S.COHEN ‘Folk Devils & Moral Panics,(london 1972)

S.Hall –Policing The Crises:Mugging the state & Law & Order (london,1978)



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