New week… new face.
Recovery.Wrx has a new reporter & sub-editor, Brogan Maguire, a 21 year old journalism student with a passion for helping people and a keen interest in the recovery journey. Opinionated, thoughtful and always ready to challenge perceptions, Brogan will be voicing her thoughts on a range of recovery-based subjects and exploring ideas proposed by others.
This month, Recovery.Wrx will mainly be focusing on the depiction of alcohol in the media and the way it is presented, particularly how this can fit with addiction. Brogan will be researching this subject, and interviewing key personalities both locally and in the States, to bring you the latest thoughts. Go Brogan!
We’re totally delighted to have Brogan on board. In addition to the stuff you all contribute, we are on a mission to delve, dissect and discuss all things addiction and recovery. To that end, Brogan will be a major asset to the team!
Before Brogan gets immersed in her writing, she’s taking a holiday… so, to whet your appetite, here is a short article by the lady herself… food for thought:
LET’S TALK ABOUT ALCOHOL AND THE MEDIA
By Brogan Maguire
Flicking through a newspaper one lazy morning, I thumbed over an article about a celebrity with a ‘drink problem’, the language unsympathetic and cold. The alcohol addiction was viewed so negatively, so callously, that it shocked me. I’ve always seen alcoholism as an illness, but you wouldn’t read stories about cancer patients that blamed them for their symptoms, would you? Clearly, alcoholism is a complicated, misunderstood subject and I completely get that. It’s hard to understand something that you haven’t been through, and if nobody is taught about it then how can they possibly know? But surely the press should be educating people about the seriousness of this issue, how badly it can affect people and how it can happen to anybody? If not, how are people supposed to reach out for help and turn their lives around?
The way I’ve always seen it, the media should be a tool for good, a way of giving a voice to those who need it, of raising debate around contemporary issues. It shouldn’t be a way of pushing hateful, negative opinions on people and not bothering to delve further into the reasons behind their actions.
Hilariously (or at least to me), is the way that alcohol is celebrated in the media, seen as a good way to unwind, to enjoy yourself, yet people who end up with an addiction are presented with such contempt. We push things on people, encourage them, and then when they do it we make them outcasts and shame them? Double standards, if you ask me.
Look at the coverage of the World Cup and the drinking associated with it. People downing pints, throwing beer around whenever England scored, and the news programmes showed it all with glee and delight. ‘Look at everyone celebrating with this mind-altering, addictive substance, isn’t it lovely!’ Now I’m not against alcohol by any stretch and I believe in freedom of choice, but I think it’s really hypocritical to be so derogatory about people who suffer with addictions issues (particularly with illegal drugs) but laugh and joke about alcohol being used to symbolise having a good time. I wonder if it would have been the same if people were celebrating using a different mood-altering substance, like heroin perhaps? Somehow, I can’t quite see that being broadcast on the BBC.
I think the moral of the story is that alcohol is seen so positively by so many people, as well as by the media, when it is used to relax or for enjoyment, but for some reason the perception really changes when it comes to addiction. So what’s the solution? Well, more education, more understanding and better regulation might be a start.
Our new reporter, Brogan Maguire: