Framings of risk and responsibility in newsprint media coverage of alcohol licensing regulations during the COVID ‐19 pandemic in England

REYNOLDS, Joanna (2022). Framings of risk and responsibility in newsprint media coverage of alcohol licensing regulations during the COVID ‐19 pandemic in England. Drug and Alcohol Review.

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Official URL: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/dar.13...
Open Access URL: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/d... (Published version)
Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.1111/dar.13532
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    Abstract

    Abstract: Introduction: Licensing is recognised as a World Health Organization (WHO) ‘best buy’ for reducing alcohol harms. In response to the 2020 COVID‐19 outbreak, many countries‐imposed restrictions on outlets selling alcohol to reduce virus transmission. In England, while shops selling alcohol were deemed ‘essential’, multiple restrictions were imposed on licenced outlets such as pubs and bars. Media reporting of licensing restrictions during the pandemic might have shaped public discourses of alcohol risks and responsibilities. Methods: This study aimed to understand how alcohol licensing changes in England were framed in newsprint media. Two hundred and fifty‐three relevant articles from UK newsprint publications were identified through the Nexis database, published within six time points between March and December 2020 reflecting key changes to licencing in England. Thematic analysis, drawing on framing theory, was conducted to identify ‘problems’ framed in the reporting of these changes. Results: Four dominant framings were identified: (i) licensed premises as ‘risky’ spaces; (ii) problematic drinking practices; (iii) problematic policy responses; and (iv) ‘victimisation’ of licensed premises. The presence of these framings shifted across the reporting period, but consistently, social disorder was constructed as a key risk relating to licensing changes over health harms from alcohol consumption. Discussion and Conclusions: The analysis shows newsprint media reproduced narratives of ‘inevitable’ drinking culture and social disorder, but also emphasised expectations for evidence‐based policy‐making, in the context of licensing during the pandemic. Discourses of dissatisfaction with licensing decisions suggests potential for public health advocacy to push for licensing change to reduce alcohol health harms, in England and internationally.

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: ** Article version: VoR ** From Wiley via Jisc Publications Router ** Licence for VoR version of this article: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/ **Journal IDs: issn 0959-5236; issn 1465-3362 **Article IDs: publisher-id: dar13532 **History: published 06-09-2022; accepted 02-08-2022; rev-recd 27-07-2022; submitted 15-12-2021
    Uncontrolled Keywords: ORIGINAL PAPER, ORIGINAL PAPERS, alcohol, COVID‐19, England, licensing, media
    Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1111/dar.13532
    SWORD Depositor: Colin Knott
    Depositing User: Colin Knott
    Date Deposited: 06 Sep 2022 15:56
    Last Modified: 06 Sep 2022 15:56
    URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/30677

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