Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Criminal Justice

First Committee Member

Richard McCorkle

Number of Pages



This thesis explores the nature and extent of the print media's coverage of crack cocaine to determine whether a moral panic ensued during the late 1980's. A content analysis was conducted on the Los Angeles Times from 1985 to 1990, examining both the nature and extent of the Los Angeles Times' coverage of crack cocaine as well as the relationship between this drug and its association with Blacks. The findings of the content analysis provided support for the hypothesis that a moral panic did in fact take place in the late 1980s with respect to crack cocaine. Further, that this panic was brought about, in part by particularly high profile events covered extensively in the media, as well as the intense scrutiny afforded this subject by legislators and the President of the United States during that period of time.


Cocaine; Crack; Implications; Inherent; Moral; Panic; Powder; Racial; Sentencing

Controlled Subject

Criminology; Blacks--Study and teaching

File Format


File Size

3962.88 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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