Mad about the boy
University of Queensland
Education and Arts
Communications and Arts, Centre for Research in Entertainment, Arts,Technology, Education and Communications
The media coverage of an out-of-control teenage party in the Melbourne suburb of Narre Warren on 12 January 2008, and its construction of the protagonist who threw the party, has highlighted once again the inequitable treatment of youth, particularly adolescent males, in the Australian media. This paper examines the coverage in terms of the discursive strategies used by the mainstream Australian media to legitimise and naturalise the denigration and humiliation of the boy involved. It will discuss the ongoing demonisation of young males in general, and the concomitant ‘panics’ about their degeneration into moral lassitude, as well as the particular ethical and legal issues raised by the non-compliance with the industry code of ethics displayed in the news reporting of the Boy’s activities.