Monday, 29 April 2013

Summary - There's a riot going on


Summary - There's a riot going on:


Title: There's a riot going on.
Pages: 5-12
Author: David Buckingham (D.B)
Publisher: Media Magazine. 
Date Published: December 2011.

Themes: Media, Reporting, Journalism, Public opinions.


Summary of Text:

An expose on the misreporting evident in the infamous 'Tottenham Riots'. The author, an attendant of Louborough University, argues that the media evidently exaggerated and misreported the events. He begins with the interesting fact that despite a culture of political correctness  the event was labelled as 'Riot' in lieu of 'Civil disturbances  or 'unrest'. He enforces this with an image of the headline of the Daily Sun that reads "ANARCHY IN THE UK".

Buckingham goes onto account the political nature of the reporting. Having a New Right sided government, the riots were fodder for David Cameron's retorts of 'Broken Britain'. There was blatant "...class dimensions..." as this was an attack on the "...[un]soicalised : working class youth that were solely led by a "...kind of 'child destructiveness..." The true statistics, such as wealthy, middle-class and even a "... 'star child from a £1m home...' " all participating were ignored, the focus drawn solely on this one mold of teenager. A major parallel being the under-reporting on the success of GCSE and A-Level results; there was now just one stigma for teenagers. 

He also notes how many new variants of media mean that everyone can now have their own say. Even if they have little or no expertise, they receive bundles of attention,  especially if their views are extreme and offer simple and digestible solutions.

Moreover, he analyses the multitude of reasons for the riots and the political dogmas that politicians spurted out. He focuses on the underlining issue of the right wind outlook (in conjunction with capitalism) and how many politicians on talk shows manipulated the riots to push their own agendas. Ending the article with a summary of the riots and how the media may actually be filtering what we see.

Key Points:


  • The media plays a large role in "deviance amplification".
  • The media prevalently focused on particular aspects - e.g age, class and race - in order draw our attention on issues it deems needed.
  • The media speaks to people's anxieties and fears, in this case, the dreaded 'hooded teen'.
  • The media, even though the riot occurred mid-recession amid harsh benefit cuts and other working-class aimed austerity, blamed popular culture (so not the government)  for the riots.
  • Flip-flopping of fact-lets they're mindless yet can "...orchestrate..." violence via social networks.
  • There a various proposed reasons, Left say it is inequality, Right is a lack of discipline in the law, schools and parents.
  • Many accusations were instant judgments.

Key Quotes:
  • "Women In Journalism analysed 7,000+ stories involving teenage boys, published in online,national and regional newspapers during 2008. 72% were negative- more than twenty times the number of positive stories (3.4%)..."

  • "Many media researchers have looked at how social issues are 'framed'. By putting a frame around a particular issue, the media draws it to our attention; but while the frame Includes somethings, it always excludes others."
  • "The age of 'Big Media'-of powerful, centralised corporations controlling media - is now finished: hierarchical, top-down communications have been replaced by a more egalitarian approach."
  • "The media did not simply misrepresent what happened, and 'moral panics' are not just irrational responses. Media stereotypes are never simply inaccurate: they always contain a 'grain of truth'."
My Response:

From this article, I have gathered that the media filters what is decided to report to influence the reader. But there is a clear limit to what can be restricted, this combined my earlier readings have confirmed to me that the media will try to prevent and circumvent the truth with the youth being a major victim in all of this. Therefore  I will acknowledge my supervisor's advice that my preliminary question was narrow by centering it on working class youth.

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