High Times In Black and White: Race, Class, and Gender in Newspaper Reports on Crack Cocaine and Crystal Meth

by H.H.J. de Blooy

Institution: Universiteit Utrecht
Year: 2015
Keywords: Crack Cocaine; Crystal Meth; Race bias; class bias; gender bias; news media; drug abuse as social problem; history of drug consumption
Record ID: 1248977
Full text PDF: http://dspace.library.uu.nl:8080/handle/1874/303009


Reports on use and sales of crack cocaine and crystal meth in Newsweek, USA Today, the Washington Post, and the New York Times are analyzed for race, class, and gender bias. It is found that crack users and dealers were portrayed as black, urban, poor and violent. Crystal meth users were mostly portrayed as poor, rural, and white. Meth users were portrayed as individuals who were trying to quit their ruinous use of the drug. Less attention to these efforts was given in reports on crack use. These differences in tone led to crack cocaine being framed as a public safety issue, whereas crystal meth use was framed as a public health issue.