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Read all about it: media construction of a heroin epidemic

, : Read all about it: media construction of a heroin epidemic. Substance Use & Misuse 35(11): 1551-1571

As part of a larger study on heroin trends in the city of Baltimore, the authors examined articles in the general circulation newspaper that serves the city and surrounding suburbs. Using computer archives, articles from 1992 to 1998 were searched for mentions of heroin. A method of analysis was developed that focused on the flow of articles through time with an emphasis on headlines and content summaries, with the goal of tracking the development of a new "topic framework," heroin use in the suburbs. The analysis shows how it is that certain stories work while others do not, and how eventually the topic framework is established so that the new trend is constituted as a community communicative resource. In the conclusion the model is generalized and four principles are hypothesized that account for why the topic framework finally took off.


PMID: 10993388

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