Media Assignment - Anne Flinchum Section 301 Media...

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Anne Flinchum Section 301 Media Assignment Crime in Milwaukee, Wisconsin My hometown is actually Green Bay, WI, but the local paper was not featured on Proquest and I could not access the archives without paying a fee so I chose the somewhat close, but much bigger city of Milwaukee, WI whose newspaper is The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel . The assignment was to choose three crime-related articles from each year during the five-year period of 2003-2007 in order to analyze them regarding content, tone, trends, and to make comparisons between the years. The city of Milwaukee, “a city which accounts for nearly a quarter of all crimes in the state,” has a crime rate that decreases from the years 2003 to 2005, and then reports large increases in the crime rate during the years 2006 and 2007 (Diedrich, 19 May 2005). Headlines in The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel range from “Good news on crime front” in 2004 to “Crime; a worrisome report” in 2006. While there were no major headlines that dominated the newspaper, there did seem to be common themes throughout the years including many reports on violent crimes, a focus on young African American males in Milwaukee, and mixed feelings toward Milwaukee’s “real” crime problem. As learned in lecture, studies show that the media disproportionately reports on violent crimes, especially homicides. A few of the articles I chose, but many that appeared in the search, focused on violent crimes and the importance of a drop in the rates of violent crimes. An article from 2003, called “Homicides reported in state a 14- year low,” also reported statistics on other violent crimes and property crimes. In the article, it mentions the rate of rapes has gone up 11% and it even mentions that violent
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crime as a category rose 1.4%. It is interesting to see, then, how the headline and focus of the article is the drop in homicides even though the rate of all violent crimes increased. A couple articles I found were centered on the young African American male, who has become both victims and assailants in Milwaukee since the 1980’s. According to the article “Milwaukee’s Murders; Black, young, and male: A crisis,” this shift in the African American youth is due to the “lack of hope and lack of jobs.” Before the 1980’s young, black males were able to get factory jobs straight out of high school and immediately become part of the middle class. This way of life collapsed in the 1980’s when industry jobs became less available and many young black males found themselves without jobs and without hope to find a job. Statistics from the article state that Wisconsin’s unemployment for black males is 17.8% (as compared to the 5% of white males). The article also mentions that out of every nine black men living in Wisconsin, one is in prison and another one is either on parole or probation (as compared to every 200 white men where one is in prison and two are on parole or probation). A later article gives strategies of how to incorporate the African American male into the work force, but
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This note was uploaded on 04/28/2008 for the course SOC 441 taught by Professor Professor during the Spring '06 term at University of Wisconsin.

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Media Assignment - Anne Flinchum Section 301 Media...

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