Friday, July 11, 2008

Moral panic thriving in the media

Sydney's media yesterday was in a tizz over teenagers in a 'booze and drug orgy' at the Submission under-age party in Darling Harbour. ABC reports had one girl hospitalised from an overdose of GHB. It turned out she was drunk, which at least The SMH had the decency to report. This letter they published today, however, put it further into perspective:

Restrain the rage

It seems that of 2000 revellers at a "strictly alcohol-free" under-age event on Wednesday, 0.2 per cent were found to be under the influence of alcohol and 0.1 per cent were found with illegal drugs, of which half had enough to constitute a charge of "supply", thanks to a police sniffer-dog raid ("Under-age rage",, July 10).

Six doesn't seem a particularly alarming total to me. I'd wager that if you randomly tested 2000 police officers, teachers, nurses, doctors, politicians or State Transit Authority employees while they were at work, you would find a much higher percentage.

Daniel Kell, Sutherland


Ah, so many different ways to report something.

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