Drinking is 'cool'

Published: Tuesday 30 September 2008

British Radio presenters seem to be encouraging the intake of alcohol to promote one's self image, say researchers from the Bristol-based University of the West of England. The research, which was based on 1200 hours of output from 6 bbc and commercial stations, found that comments about alcohol encouraged drinking were less than 50 per cent but those from presenters alone made up about 73 per cent. The stations studied included Radio 1, the bbc's 1Xtra, Kiss 101, Key 103, Galaxy Birmingham and Kerrang! Radio. While bbc Radio 1 denied encouraging alcohol culture among its audiences, alcohol references on commercial radios, particularly Kerrang! Radio were pretty high.

Along with use of trendsetting terms like 'ruined' and 'lashed', alcohol was marked out as an absolute weekend drink and an essential for bigger celebrations like Christmas and New Year's eve. In total, presenters were responsible for 244 out of 703 comments about alcohol on air. Where they did not encourage drinking, most were neutral and only 2 per cent of them were found to be negative, citing health and safety reasons.

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