Communication Campaigns about Drugs: Government, Media, and the Public

Communication Campaigns about Drugs: Government, Media, and the Public

Communication Campaigns about Drugs: Government, Media, and the Public

Communication Campaigns about Drugs: Government, Media, and the Public

Excerpt

Work on what eventually became this book began in late 1986, when Phil Meyer, program chair for the 1987 American Association for Public Opinion Research annual conference, asked me to coordinate a panel on whether the previous months' heavy dose of drug coverage in the mass media had affected public opinion. As I recall, Max McCombs and Don Shaw had already turned down the project; as an assistant professor, I found it difficult to turn down anything.

After numerous phone calls, I was able to offer Phil a panel that covered the topic from "soup to nuts," from the federal government's antidrug public information campaign, to media coverage of drugs, to public concern with drugs, to measures of drug use. Avraham Forman and Susan Lachter, of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, agreed to prepare a paper on their "Just Say No" and "Cocaine, The Big Lie" campaigns. John Merriam, Conference on Issues and Media, proved willing to write an overview of how national media coverage of drugs had changed over time. My colleagues at the University of Texas at Austin -Steve Reese, Lucig Danielian, Wayne Wanta, and Dawn Leggett--agreed to investigate both influences on media content and how the media might affect public opinion. Lloyd Johnston, University of Michigan, was finally persuaded to contribute a paper on how high school seniors' drug use had changed. Don Shaw, University of North Carolina, agreed to participate in the panel as a respondent to the live papers.

I am grateful to these individuals for their willingness not only to contribute to the AAPOR panel, but also for their efforts in revising and expanding on their AAPOR papers for publication in the book in a timely . . .

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