Essay about Media 's Influence On Public Perceptions Of Crime

2072 Words Sep 4th, 2016 9 Pages
Media plays a very important part in shaping public perceptions of crime (Levinsen & Wien, 2011). Media representations of crime are distorted, overrepresented and particular crimes are portrayed extensively, however they may be an infrequent event (Ditton & Duffy, 1983; Jerrin & Fields, 1994; Han Er, 2014). For example, violent crimes such as serial or mass murder and children as victims of sexual crimes are overrepresented compared to corporate or white-collar crimes (Jerrin & Fields, 1994; Han Er, 2014). The media distorts facts for the purposes of entertainment, economic gain, public demands of fascination, and policy change in the criminal justice system (Han Er, 2014). This is because the public is fascinated with themes of violent crime, thus the media distorts its images, facts and statistics about crimes in order to meet this public fascination and demand (Dowler et al., 2006). The media has the power to cause moral panics and a fear of crime in the public through its depictions of certain crimes and criminals, particularly based on their age, ethnicity, gender and social class (Han Er, 2014). Another important reason to study media representations of crime is because public perception of crime is dependant almost entirely on media representations of crime (Davis, 1952; Ditton & Duffy, 1983; Jerrin & Fields, 1994). This causes people to form stereotypes of certain criminals and crimes in their society (Han Er, 2014; McCreanor et al., 2014). As a result,…

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