Friday, September 20, 2013

Role of media in the battle against the bottle

Dr Rabin Man Shakya

Millions of people die every year because of alcohol and alcohol related diseases and accidents. Millions are battling and struggling against alcoholism.

The media in today's world exercises tremendous influences in the way people think and behave. The media is one of the strongest weapons in showing the world the devastating consequences of alcoholism and intoxication. There is no doubt that there is a great role of the media in the battle against bottles.

Alcoholism in general and alcohol use by teenagers is a prime health concern not only of advanced countries like US, Canada, Russia etc, but for a small and underdeveloped country like Nepal, alcoholism is also posing as a serious challenge.

According to American researchers, adolescents who begin to drink at an early age are at higher risk for injury, illness, long term alcohol use, or even death related to alcohol use.

Hence, there is a great role that the print and electronic media as well as the social media should play for increasing anti-alcohol awareness.

The media should print and broadcast more and more alcohol-related news stories and articles depicting the devastating after-effects of intoxication. Newspapers should publish warning advertisements about bad consequences of liquor in a daily basis, and TV channels and FMs should remind the audience and listeners about the catastrophic sufferings of the people because of intoxication-related accidents and diseases.

Sincere attempts should be made to reduce scenes of alcohol use in movies and TV serials.  It is a matter of great satisfaction that advertisement of liquor is prohibited in the print as well as electronic media of Nepal.

Meanwhile, an interesting aspect of the American journalism is that the print as well as the electronic media here have been giving due coverage to the news and views related to the devastating effects of alcohol.

For example, USA Today published a news story under the headline "1 in 10 high school seniors drink to extremes" on September 17, 2013.

The USA Today news story went on: "Plenty of high school seniors are binge drinkers, consuming five or more alcoholic drinks in a row, but a new study shows that knock back as many as 10, 15 or more drinks in one session."

The USA Today  news story also threw light on the harms of binge drinking.


  1. Does American government have any plan on controlling the use of alcohol in high schools?

  2. In the United States, the legal age for alcohol purchase and consumption is 21. Therefore, teenagers or anybody under age 21 are strictly prohibited to buy any kind of booze or go to a bar that serves liquor.Law enforcement officials here are very careful about this. But like anywhere, there seems to be some loopholes in this case also.Use of alcohol in high schools is out of question. They can't do that in the school, but they can do it anywhere out side of school.