Constructing 'road rage' as news: an analysis of two Australian newspapers

Deborah Lupton

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    Abstract

    The phenomenon known as 'road roge' emerged and attroded much attention in the news media in the 7990s. This article reports the findings from a study on representations and understandings of road rage in Australia. Over 600 news items published between 1995 and 2000 in the two major Sydney newspapers (the Sydney Moming Herald and the Daily Telegraph) were analysed using discourse analysis. After a discussion of the ways in which road rage was first introduced to readers, my analysis centres on the major themes emerging in later years of reporting. I conclude that the newspapers' representations of road rage, like those engendering other moral panics, sought to position the phenomenon as a negative outcome of contemporary unban sodety. Unlike most other moral panics, however, the villains identified as ('road ragers? are not members of minority subgroups or subcultures. Rather, every road user is portrayed as potentially capable of road rage, due to their exposure to the stresses of everyday life.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)23-36
    Number of pages14
    JournalAustralian Journal of Communication
    Volume28
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2001

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