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April 23, 2018 / C H Thompson

False reporting and the creation of moral panics

  • Stanley Cohen coined the term moral panics and deviancy amplification
  • False reporting is best understood as exaggerated reports out of all proportions
  • Such incidents are common with what are termed ‘red-top’ newspapers who have high or mass circulation figures or ‘clicks’ on their websites.
  • Tabloid newspapers are The Sun, The Mirror etc. While high traffic news websites are the Daily Mail
  • These newspapers often over dramatise events creating moral panics over certain issues
  • Mc Robbie and Thornton argue media-generated moral panics are less common due to new media (social networks) posts often challenging moral panics with alternative views (pluralism)
  • However many Facebook feeds are criticised for publishing ‘false-news’ or what is now more commonly known as ‘fake-news’.

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