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Moral Panic

How Journalists Contribute to Moral Panics

Christopher J. Ferguson | Posted 11.25.2014 | Media
Christopher J. Ferguson

There has been a lot of attention in recent years to how both scholars and politicians contribute to moral panics, both on a wide array of issues and on the issue of video game violence specifically. The story of Adam Lanza is no different.

Ebola and Moral Panic

Kwei Quartey | Posted 12.15.2014 | Politics
Kwei Quartey

A fierce debate has erupted over how to deal with the potential for an Ebola outbreak in the United States. One idea is to bar people from Ebola-affected regions from entering this country. This embodies a type of moral panic, and in addition to being cruel and discriminatory, it is simply impractical.

The 'Superpredator' Scare Revisited

Steve Drizin | Posted 06.09.2014 | Crime
Steve Drizin

In the mid-nineties, the "superpredator" myth was premised on junk science and inaccurate predictions based on demographics that forecasted an increase in violence by urban teenagers who were "fatherless, Godless, and jobless."

Fear the Bogeyman: Sex Offender Panic on Halloween

Andrew Extein, MSW | Posted 01.23.2014 | Crime
Andrew Extein, MSW

The reality is that there has never been a recorded case of abuse or abduction by a registered sex offender on Halloween. Most offenders already comply with strict parole and registration requirements, and many are constantly tracked with GPS monitors.

Fox's Phoney War

David Trumble | Posted 02.08.2013 | Media
David Trumble

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The Plagiarism Panic

Edward Wasserman | Posted 11.19.2012 | Media
Edward Wasserman

If we're not careful, we'll end up not so much protecting originality, but criminalizing routines that are integral to some of the most broadly beneficial practices of contemporary reporting.