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Unfair representation?

14th March 2011

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The Daily Mail reported on 11th March that students from Manchester University had drunk ‘lethal’ and ‘dangerous’ amounts of alcohol in a perilous drinking game that only ended when someone was sick or went to hospital.

The paper reported on how the internet was ‘flooded’ with videos of such behaviour, portraying students as only one thing: idiots.

This article is a clear indication of how students are viewed by the right wing media. This area of the press portrays students as beer-glugging imbeciles who spend their lives in bed leeching upon the country’s taxes.

Calling students ‘suicidal idiots’ for playing a drinking game, unfairly represents those people who are the next generation of this country who are going to have to end up working much harder than the previous generation.

Minimum attention was paid to students when they protested the raising of tuition fees by the right wing press, whereas the photograph of the boy swinging on the cenotaph flag seemed to make all the front pages.

The only way that a student can make it into the paper now is by swinging on a sacred flag or bragging about a drinking game.

For the Daily Mail it is apparently inconceivable that the Manchester freshers could be perhaps exaggerating when they said there were around 100 units of alcohol used in their game. Are we really expected to believe that these students wanted to go to hospital with alcohol poisoning?

As older adults face cuts from the Con-Dem government they are quick to look for scapegoats for their problems. No sympathy is afforded therefore to students who are seen as a nuisance rather than a societal investment for the readership of the Daily Mail.

In fact a poll conducted by Drinkaware in October 2010 looked at 1700 young people and revealed that  students are more likely to drink less, and less likely to find it acceptable to end up in hospital from alcohol than those at work.

According to the survey, 9% of students say they drink 16 units of alcohol or more on a night out, compared to 12% of young working adults.

We can see then that students drink less dangerously than young people in work but this is sadly not a story for this form of media.

The truth is that the UK has had a permanent problem with alcohol across society with older adults being some of the worst. Students shouldn’t have to be seen as responsible for a National problem when their passionate demonstrations for their rights and hard work are being sadly neglected.

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