Sensationalism In The Criminal Justice System

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Introduction: Sensationalism is the use of exciting or shocking stories or language at the expense of accuracy, in order to provoke public interest or excitement. Crime reporting is susceptible to sensationalism. There exists a heavy competition for readers and consumers. Since there are numerous sources from which the public can obtain information, the media regularly utilizes sensationalism in order to attract an audience away from its competitors. According to Barton (2011), sensationalizing is intended to arouse strong emotional reactions in readers and viewers.
In recent news, a 14 year old boy, named Ahmed Mohamed, was arrested for showing up to school with a “clock,” which was a metallic case containing a bunch of wires connected
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The focus of this paper are the issues that arise due to the amount of time spent covering an incident and media portrayals of crime. Race and religious beliefs are being targeted by the media for certain crimes. Over the past couple of years, more and more people have been exposed to misrepresentation of race and religious backgrounds when it comes to certain crimes. News channels have done an inadequate job on reporting crimes and analyzing the criminal justice system thus leaving the public poorly informed of the issue at hand. Not only does inadequate reporting of crimes hurt the public but also our criminal justice system. Although this analysis focuses on race and religious backgrounds, an example of how our justice system is being affected can be seen in the duties of police officers. In recent years, police officers have been scrutinized on how much power they have and how it is being abused. Any incident involving police officers is being examined thoroughly. Most police officers are being caught racial profiling instead of arresting because of probable cause. Due to the lack of proper reporting of crime, police officers are not looked upon as our heroes or those that are there to protect us. This ruins the public’s image of officers thus impacting the criminal justice system. With all of these misrepresentations of crime, criminals, or officers the public still continues to be pulled into the words of news anchors. One of many solutions is if criminologists collaborated with media anchors to better inform the public of issues in the world. Another solution is if the amount of time put into one incident with the focus on one’s background. Throughout this analysis readers will better understand the issue as well as any possible solutions to be

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