No Cure for What Ails Us: The media-constructed disconnect between societal problems and possible solutions
This research examined the attributes of three social problems – pollution, poverty, and incarceration – in 300 news articles from 1995 to 2000. Content overwhelmingly indicated no specific cause, effect or responsible agent for the problem; rarely mentioned non-profit citizen organizations or the individual-level terms ‘environmentalist,’ ‘activist’ and ‘advocate’ in content. Media coverage also did not discuss any likelihood that these problems could be solved and did not report any calls for reader action. It is suggested that media content may have promoted political apathy due to a lack of connection between the social problem, non-profit citizen organization activities and individual behavior.
SubjectsMedia representation of social issues
- Arts: Journal Articles