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On the year of Leah Bettss death, her mum and dad joined up with the media to show and educate to other people and mainly to the youngers, that taking a drug is very dangerous and can cause death and decided to make a video called sorted.

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MEDIA COURSEWORK

        In 1995, the year of Leah Betts’s 18th birthday, had taken ecstasy which is known to be a class A drug and illegal. She had thought that taking the drug would make her all hyper and in a party mode for her birthday, but sadly that wasn’t the case. She had died by taking the class a drug. Statistics show that the drug is taken on twenty five million occasions a year which is half a million a week as a result of
this; there are five related Ecstasy deaths per year. There was an story written on her tragic death by Nicholas Saunders and also a film called ‘sorted’ by the media and also co-operating with the media were Leah Betts’s family and friends. I look at Saunders’s article ‘the Leah  Betts story’ and showed how effective the film ‘sorted’ was in educating young people into the dangers of taking the drug ecstasy.

        On the year of Leah Betts’s death, her mum and dad joined up with the media to show and educate to other people and mainly to the younger’s, that taking a drug is very dangerous and can cause death and decided to make a video called ‘sorted’.

“The British media went to town over the death of Leah”.

The writer shows the reader that the media were overhauled by this news and wanted to publish this which everyone would be interested in, about the incident. The word ‘death’ suggests that a death is serious news for everyone, and that people would sympathize over her death. The word ‘British’ suggests that possibly every media went to the town where she had died to make an interview or story on her death which would sound ridiculous. I personally think that the media went ballistic over the death of Leah because they saw a chance were they could make money and her parents cooperated because they wanted to alert young people to the dangers of drug-taking, releasing a photograph of her in intensive Care. Leah Betts’s death was a sad story but also shocking because she was not an addict. She only took some tablets of the drug for her party, so that she can be hyper. As she did not know how to use it, the scenario escalated and the worst possible scenario had happened. She felt dizzy and drank a lot of water, which caused her death.

In the film sorted, it begins with a billboard poster of Leah Betts in hospital being with ‘wonder wall’ sang by Oasis as a background. The song ‘wonder wall’ from oasis would be an ideal as the song itself is a sad song which is why they chose the song and it is well presented with the billboard. In this film not one person had come to tears as they were trying to get the message across that drugs are very dangerous. One of her mates who also took the drug described her,

“Sort of person who would do anything for her friends”.

In this speech it reveals the type of person that Leah was and that she wasn’t an addict. This suggests that anyone could die from taking drugs. In my opinion at this point, the film ‘sorted’ reveals more facts and reasons why you shouldn’t take any drugs at all and shows images to see how serious it is then the story. The story so far only tells what the media did; it does not give as imagery for us to imagine what is happening.                            

 Leah’s mother and father were interviewed while she was unconscious and was dying behind them. The media wanted to put up

“Billboards showing her in intensive care with the caption “sorted. Just one ecstasy tablet killed Leah Betts””.

By Leah Betts being put on billboards it shows other people that drugs are highly dangerous and can kill in an instance. The word ‘sorted’ suggests death; by taking just one drug you could risk your life and be ‘sorted’. It tells us as readers the dangers and risks of taking drugs, but doesn’t show how highly and dangerous it is, as most people take risks and they would not be scared. I believe in this because drugs are mainly use to get away of life, as they might not like the life they are in at the point. So straight away they would go onto take drugs as they believe there is no way out. In this part Saunders intentions are to make the reader surprised and shocked.  Shocking people was a very good technique that Nicolas Saunder’s used because it will make us aware that taking drugs is like wasting your life, that god has given to us. Also surprising us as readers will show us the dangerous threats drugs can cause.

In the introduction of the video many of Leah Betts’s family and friends were similarly saying the same positive points about Leah Betts,

“She was a very bright girl, she could have gone far” “many people who knew her have come to their senses”.

I think the point behind this speech was to tell the world not to play with drugs. As they were all saying that she had a good future ahead of her which suggests that Leah Betts was playing around with drugs and lost her future with her life. The word ‘bright’ makes me think that she would not do this type of thing. But at the time when she was taking the drug she was only doing and wasn’t thinking. She took the drugs only for her birthday. Maybe it was the fact that she wasn’t thinking or that she did not know anything about drugs and the dangers of it. At this time in her mind, all she was thinking was how great her party was going to be.

        The video is still better compared to the article, because in the video just in the beginning almost all of Leah Betts’s family and friend had said something which makes a big effect to people and shows how many peoplecare about them and that you should risk your life on taking drugs. But on the article it only shows the amount of chaos, the media had gone through. In the video many of the speeches made me arouse my emotion which makes other people get emotional which is very effective. Sharing Leah Betts’s death with the whole nation was a great idea as it reveals the uncertainty and problems a drug can give us. It will help us because we would not want to face the same experience again.

        As we progress in the article, Saunders reveals the true cause for Leah Betts’s tragic death.

“The cause of the death was given as due to drinking too much water”.

The words ‘drinking too much water’ would make people think that it is a ridiculous cause and they would surely change there mind and start to blame ecstasy for the cause. I think Saunders reveals to us that when taking drugs and also taking a lot of liquid, in this case water could kill you. Saunders’s opinion reveals that he is very biased against the fact that the drugs killed her; on the face of it he has no intentions of at least blaming ecstasy for the death.  The writer is trying to make us feel horrified as his intentions was us as a reader to believe that water killed Leah Betts and it was not the drug.

As we continue in the video, a short reconstruction of an ambulance journey. During that time a 999 call was made by Leah Betts’s mother. As soon as they got to the hospital, a doctor had said

"Leah Betts died after just one (Ecstasy) tablet - she drank too much water whilst the drug stopped her body disposing of it. It may be she set out not to disgrace her parents. When she started to feel ill she thought: what could she do, and she started to drink water."  

This may seem to mean that you wouldn’t know what to do if a scenario i.e. like Leah Betts happened when taking a drug. She had taken large amounts of water to get rid of her headache. Instead it had killed her. The words ‘the drugs stopped her body disposing of it’ make me think that drugs have a lot side affects which could harm you without you knowing. This part of the video is very emotional as we all know that she is going to die and it wasn’t her fault as she had not known the consuming a lot of water could kill her.

Comparing the video ‘sorted’ to the article,  made me think that the video will be a big result for a lot of people to stop taking drugs because it shows a life saving situation caused by just one drug tablet, people could see a reconstruction of it. On the article it only shows the writers opinions and he shows a very biased opinion on the fact that drinking water lead to the death.

        As we continue in Saunders’s article, he compares the amount of deaths caused by drugs with the amount of deaths caused by fishing.

“Recently I have found statistics that show the risk is similar to fishing!”

The quote implies that fishing is as dangerous as taking drugs. He is very biased, as most people know what they are doing when going fishing but it is a different matter with drugs as many people don’t know the risks. The word ‘similar’ suggest that it is not actually equal to the amount of risks but very close. The writer uses statistics to get his point across. In my opinion it is not a strong argument that fishing is ‘similar’ to taking drugs. If he thinks fishing is as dangerous, then why isn’t fishing illegal?

        During the final interview with Leah Betts’s family her mum said,

“If people could only see my daughter, just look at this pretty eighteen year old who is flat on her back and can’t even breathe, they would never take a drug again.”

Ms. Betts is re-emphasizing that if you take drugs you could turn out like Leah Betts in hospital fighting for your life. The word ‘if’ could mean that there is a choice whether you could stop taking drugs or continue and end up like Leah Betts. I believe that most people would give up or stop taking drugs after seeing Leah Betts photo as it carries more than an image.

        At this point, the article is only showing one side of an argument as one would say that if only one person wrote an article it would be more of a bias article. On the other hand the video ‘sorted’ is always backing up the points from the beginning. People would feel sad and would be fearful if they ended up like Leah Betts. So it would mean that the video is more effective than the article because by watching the video we will feel for her which makes me think that if I took a drug, I would think twice as I am damaging my life and the people that care about me.

Saunders’s ends his article with another statistic to back up his same point which was said throughout the article,

“What is not so widely recognized is that alcohol causes ten times as much damage as drugs.”

The words ‘ten times’ could mean that the amount of alcoholics dead is much more than the amount of drug addicts dead. Once again I think that he is backing up his point that drugs aren’t the cause of Leah Betts’s death. He now says that alcohol kills more people than drugs and yet alcohol is legal and drugs are not. The fact that Leah Betts only brought the drug for her birthday party was utmost confusing, but it maybe the cause of her death, as she got to excited, and did not think what she was doing.

        As the video comes to a conclusion, it summarizes everything by having scenes from the funeral, with poems read out giving us imagery which is heard throughout the day, it was a depressing day for the Bett’s family. A photo of Leah Betts appears which fades away and other people who died from taking ecstasy were also shown. This was happened in silence. I think this happened in silence because it was like a remembrance of the people that died, to show their respect.

        In my opinion the article was mainly a one sided argument which was always biased and the video was very effective to encourage young people not to take drugs as it shows any people how risky it is and how quick you could die from taking a drug. There are many dangers in taking drugs, such as death. Not only was Leah Betts’s death tragic but also confronting. It made a lot of people realize such high risks that a drug can contain. In Leah’s case she did not know how to use the drug nor did she know the side effects of the drug.

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