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Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Study of the Relationship between Media Use and Anomie in America's Fastest Growing Town
Unformatted Document Text:  18 Other media modalities also increase feelings of anomie, but only under certain social conditions. Watching local television news increased anomic feelings, but only for those who are members of a social group, or those who have been residents for ten or more years. One way to understand this relationship is to dig into the content of local news programming. One characteristic of local news is the prevalence of violence. The constant diet of violent news may be threatening to long-time residents and those who are members of social groups because they have more invested in the community. In addition, this researcher has noticed that Las Vegas local television news has many non-local news stories. Stories from Florida, Ohio, New York, and other places are often part of the local newscast. Such stories may be of interest to people who have moved to Las Vegas from these places, but there’s no sense of local community engendered by these stories. In summary, when print media has a significant effect on anomie it tends to serve to allay it. The broadcast media’s association with anomie is mixed. Under some demographic conditions, broadcast media use can help allay anomie and under other conditions it can inflame it. Despite the hopes of some researchers, newer forms of media have no effect on anomie, but when they do, they tend to exacerbate this social ill. A larger sample, may, however, show that new media have more effect on anomie than this study found. With the realization that there is no magic formula for understanding how and why anomie infects some individuals in a community and not others, this study’s intention was to describe the relationships among various media types and anomie with some social variables controlled. The method and findings frame our perception that the media may play some role either positively to alleviate anomie, or negatively to produce it, but in the words of Joseph

Authors: Mullen, Lawrence.
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18
Other media modalities also increase feelings of anomie, but only under certain social
conditions. Watching local television news increased anomic feelings, but only for those who
are members of a social group, or those who have been residents for ten or more years. One way
to understand this relationship is to dig into the content of local news programming. One
characteristic of local news is the prevalence of violence. The constant diet of violent news may
be threatening to long-time residents and those who are members of social groups because they
have more invested in the community. In addition, this researcher has noticed that Las Vegas
local television news has many non-local news stories. Stories from Florida, Ohio, New York,
and other places are often part of the local newscast. Such stories may be of interest to people
who have moved to Las Vegas from these places, but there’s no sense of local community
engendered by these stories.
In summary, when print media has a significant effect on anomie it tends to serve to allay
it. The broadcast media’s association with anomie is mixed. Under some demographic
conditions, broadcast media use can help allay anomie and under other conditions it can inflame
it. Despite the hopes of some researchers, newer forms of media have no effect on anomie, but
when they do, they tend to exacerbate this social ill. A larger sample, may, however, show that
new media have more effect on anomie than this study found.
With the realization that there is no magic formula for understanding how and why
anomie infects some individuals in a community and not others, this study’s intention was to
describe the relationships among various media types and anomie with some social variables
controlled. The method and findings frame our perception that the media may play some role
either positively to alleviate anomie, or negatively to produce it, but in the words of Joseph


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