8 Tips on How to Write About Alcohol Consumption Responsibly

Created by
Journalist's Resource

The media has a major role in influencing people's drinking behaviour.

Despite clear evidence linking harmful alcohol consumption with increased risk of health problems such as cancer, liver disease, and violence-related injuries, we are continuously fed advertisements promoting alcohol products and glorifying alcohol consumption. 

The news can also influence how the general public perceive alcohol related issues and can influence levels of stigma within society.

This article suggests eight tips on how journalists can improve their coverage of alcohol, based on suggestions from journalists and researchers with subject-area expertise.

Tips include:

  1. When covering alcohol through a “lifestyle” perspective, consider mentioning the associated risks, too.
  2. When reporting on alcohol-related health research, put the findings in context.
  3. Avoid stereotypes.
  4. Avoid the term “alcoholic.”
  5. Try “person-first language.”
  6. Report on the scientific nature of issues related to drinking.
  7. Diversify perspectives on drinking.
  8. Diversify perspectives on sobriety, too.