Framing of binge drinking in UK news media
Public and media concern around excessive episodic alcohol consumption, ‘binge-drinking’, has increased considerably and the negative health impacts of excessive alcohol consumption are well-documented. Patterns of drinking and drinking practices continue to develop in relation to the wider social and economic context, with implications for people’s health and wellbeing.
The mainstream media is a key resource for exploration of dominant cultural ideas and understandings of contemporary phenomena. In this project we explore the framing of ‘binge-drinking’ in fourteen UK national newspapers from 1st January 2012 to 31st December 2013. We selected this time period to coincide with increased press coverage of alcohol consumption related to the passage of minimum unit pricing legislation (May 24th 2012) in Scotland. In particular we aim to explore the presentation of ‘binge drinking’, descriptions of the drivers of ‘binge drinking’, and characterisations of who ‘binge drinks’ and on what type of drinks. This work will contribute towards identifying misconceptions and stereotypes in relation to excessive alcohol consumption and suggest areas where improved communication with the public around alcohol interventions is required. This work is currently ongoing.