The Influence Of Mass Media On Crime

1819 Words 7 Pages
In society people have little to no direct personal experience with crime, therefore the mass media represents crime in a certain way to the public. This is media outlets such as newspapers, television, websites, films, video games and books etc. Usually the portrayal of crime is negative or positive depending on who, what and where the crime is committed. Pearson argues that the media has encouraged a fear and fascination with crime.
Media content and crime are studied in different ways. For media content there is; Formal Analysis, Thematic Analysis and Textual Analysis. Formal analysis is quantative and it classifies and quantifies media in an objective manner. They can do this using a checklist and looking through crime and media content
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The proportion given to crime was also dependent on which paper it was, the Guardian only reported 5.1% whereas the Sun reported 30.4%. This could be down to the audience of both papers, The Sun has always appealed to the working class and is a less intellectually demanding paper whereas the Guardian is more refined and focuses on world news instead of celeb gossip. Also the coverage of crime depends on the type of crime. Hard hitting and violent crime such as murder or shootings get reported since its drama and people want to see that and look it up. The coverage of violent or sexual crime is so much larger than their incidence as measured by official statistics, victim surveys and self-report studies. Homicide account for about 1/3 of all crime news. Williams and Dickinson, again, found that 65% of crime stories in national newspapers were about violence but in the same year the British Crime Survey only reported 6% of crimes that involved …show more content…
They exaggerate the threat and unnecessarily increase the public’s fear of crime. Studies show that those who watch Television for longer report higher levels of fear of crime. Surveys also conducted over a period when recorded crime had fallen showed between 25% and 38% of respondents felt it had ‘risen a lot’. This is a very important issue because it seems to influence many aspects of people’s lives. Some may refuse to walk the streets at night due to fear of crime or people avoid groups of teens encase they ‘attack’. In contrast though tabloid readers tend to be working class and middle class and the BCS found that people living in inner city areas and council estates are concerned about crime. Rather than causing a fear of crime, tabloid newspapers may just be reflecting it. Crawford et al argues that in inner city areas mass media coverage of crime tends to reinforce what people already

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