"Crack down on the celebrity junkies": does media coverage of celebrity drug use pose a risk to young people?

Rachel L. Shaw, Claire Whitehead, David Giles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This study analysed news media content to examine the role played by celebrity drug use in young people's perceptions of drug use. We know that young people have access to discourses of drug use through music and other media which may emphasise short term gains (of pleasure or sexual success) over longer term health and social problems. This study goes beyond a simple modelling approach by using Media Framing Analysis (MFA) to take an in-depth look at the messages themselves and how they are 'framed'. New stories about Amy Winehouse's drug use were used and we conducted focus groups with young people asking them questions about drugs, celebrity and the media. Frames identified include: 'troubled genius', 'losing patience' and 'glamorization or gritty realism'. Initially, the press championed Winehouse's musical talent but soon began to tire of her recklessness; the participants tended to be unimpressed with Winehouse's drug use, characterising her as a promising artist who had 'gone off the rails'. Young people were far more critical of Winehouse than might be expected, demonstrating that concerns about the influence of celebrity drug use and its impact on future health risk behaviour among young people may have been over-simplified and exaggerated. This study illustrates the need to understand young people and their frames of reference within popular culture when designing drug awareness information relevant to them. Furthermore, it indicates that critical media skills analysis may contribute to health risk education programmes related to drug use.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)575-589
Number of pages15
JournalHealth, Risk and Society
Volume12
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010

Fingerprint

Pharmaceutical Preparations
Aptitude
Pleasure
Social Problems
Health
Music
Risk-Taking
Focus Groups
Health Education

Bibliographical note

This is an electronic version of an article published in Shaw, Rachel L.; Whitehead, Claire and Giles, David (2010). "Crack down on the celebrity junkies": does media coverage of celebrity drug use pose a risk to young people? Health Risk and Society, 12 (6), pp. 575-589. Health Risk and Society is available online at http://www.informaworld.com/openurl?genre=article&issn=1369-8575&volume=12&issue=6&spage=575

Keywords

  • media framing
  • health risk behaviour
  • young adults
  • celebrity
  • qualitative research

Cite this

@article{3402da0557414245abeade114eef4c00,
title = "{"}Crack down on the celebrity junkies{"}: does media coverage of celebrity drug use pose a risk to young people?",
abstract = "This study analysed news media content to examine the role played by celebrity drug use in young people's perceptions of drug use. We know that young people have access to discourses of drug use through music and other media which may emphasise short term gains (of pleasure or sexual success) over longer term health and social problems. This study goes beyond a simple modelling approach by using Media Framing Analysis (MFA) to take an in-depth look at the messages themselves and how they are 'framed'. New stories about Amy Winehouse's drug use were used and we conducted focus groups with young people asking them questions about drugs, celebrity and the media. Frames identified include: 'troubled genius', 'losing patience' and 'glamorization or gritty realism'. Initially, the press championed Winehouse's musical talent but soon began to tire of her recklessness; the participants tended to be unimpressed with Winehouse's drug use, characterising her as a promising artist who had 'gone off the rails'. Young people were far more critical of Winehouse than might be expected, demonstrating that concerns about the influence of celebrity drug use and its impact on future health risk behaviour among young people may have been over-simplified and exaggerated. This study illustrates the need to understand young people and their frames of reference within popular culture when designing drug awareness information relevant to them. Furthermore, it indicates that critical media skills analysis may contribute to health risk education programmes related to drug use.",
keywords = "media framing, health risk behaviour, young adults, celebrity, qualitative research",
author = "Shaw, {Rachel L.} and Claire Whitehead and David Giles",
note = "This is an electronic version of an article published in Shaw, Rachel L.; Whitehead, Claire and Giles, David (2010). {"}Crack down on the celebrity junkies{"}: does media coverage of celebrity drug use pose a risk to young people? Health Risk and Society, 12 (6), pp. 575-589. Health Risk and Society is available online at http://www.informaworld.com/openurl?genre=article&issn=1369-8575&volume=12&issue=6&spage=575",
year = "2010",
month = "12",
doi = "10.1080/13698575.2010.515736",
language = "English",
volume = "12",
pages = "575--589",
journal = "Health, Risk and Society",
issn = "1369-8575",
publisher = "Routledge",
number = "6",

}

"Crack down on the celebrity junkies": does media coverage of celebrity drug use pose a risk to young people? / Shaw, Rachel L.; Whitehead, Claire; Giles, David.

In: Health, Risk and Society, Vol. 12, No. 6, 12.2010, p. 575-589.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - "Crack down on the celebrity junkies": does media coverage of celebrity drug use pose a risk to young people?

AU - Shaw, Rachel L.

AU - Whitehead, Claire

AU - Giles, David

N1 - This is an electronic version of an article published in Shaw, Rachel L.; Whitehead, Claire and Giles, David (2010). "Crack down on the celebrity junkies": does media coverage of celebrity drug use pose a risk to young people? Health Risk and Society, 12 (6), pp. 575-589. Health Risk and Society is available online at http://www.informaworld.com/openurl?genre=article&issn=1369-8575&volume=12&issue=6&spage=575

PY - 2010/12

Y1 - 2010/12

N2 - This study analysed news media content to examine the role played by celebrity drug use in young people's perceptions of drug use. We know that young people have access to discourses of drug use through music and other media which may emphasise short term gains (of pleasure or sexual success) over longer term health and social problems. This study goes beyond a simple modelling approach by using Media Framing Analysis (MFA) to take an in-depth look at the messages themselves and how they are 'framed'. New stories about Amy Winehouse's drug use were used and we conducted focus groups with young people asking them questions about drugs, celebrity and the media. Frames identified include: 'troubled genius', 'losing patience' and 'glamorization or gritty realism'. Initially, the press championed Winehouse's musical talent but soon began to tire of her recklessness; the participants tended to be unimpressed with Winehouse's drug use, characterising her as a promising artist who had 'gone off the rails'. Young people were far more critical of Winehouse than might be expected, demonstrating that concerns about the influence of celebrity drug use and its impact on future health risk behaviour among young people may have been over-simplified and exaggerated. This study illustrates the need to understand young people and their frames of reference within popular culture when designing drug awareness information relevant to them. Furthermore, it indicates that critical media skills analysis may contribute to health risk education programmes related to drug use.

AB - This study analysed news media content to examine the role played by celebrity drug use in young people's perceptions of drug use. We know that young people have access to discourses of drug use through music and other media which may emphasise short term gains (of pleasure or sexual success) over longer term health and social problems. This study goes beyond a simple modelling approach by using Media Framing Analysis (MFA) to take an in-depth look at the messages themselves and how they are 'framed'. New stories about Amy Winehouse's drug use were used and we conducted focus groups with young people asking them questions about drugs, celebrity and the media. Frames identified include: 'troubled genius', 'losing patience' and 'glamorization or gritty realism'. Initially, the press championed Winehouse's musical talent but soon began to tire of her recklessness; the participants tended to be unimpressed with Winehouse's drug use, characterising her as a promising artist who had 'gone off the rails'. Young people were far more critical of Winehouse than might be expected, demonstrating that concerns about the influence of celebrity drug use and its impact on future health risk behaviour among young people may have been over-simplified and exaggerated. This study illustrates the need to understand young people and their frames of reference within popular culture when designing drug awareness information relevant to them. Furthermore, it indicates that critical media skills analysis may contribute to health risk education programmes related to drug use.

KW - media framing

KW - health risk behaviour

KW - young adults

KW - celebrity

KW - qualitative research

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=78649756231&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1080/13698575.2010.515736

DO - 10.1080/13698575.2010.515736

M3 - Article

VL - 12

SP - 575

EP - 589

JO - Health, Risk and Society

JF - Health, Risk and Society

SN - 1369-8575

IS - 6

ER -