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Aug 28, 2008 - Criminology aug 28 Part 1 definitions and...

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Criminology aug 28 Part 1: definitions and perspectives Crime and the media What are some of the typical images routinely conveyed about crime in the mass media? We tend to over estimate how much crime there is. 1/3 of program time is devoted to law enforcement shows on tv. The content of newspaper and tv cover crime and justice topic. We think there’s more crime than there is. We think there is more violent crime than things such as property crime. In who’s interests? Newspaper: editor wants to be sure they’re selling papers. Want the most interesting stories. Politician: to ensure the public is aware of your stance on those issues— getting tough on crime. Law enforcement: crime in news media. Make people aware that we need jails and other operations. Crime myth: false beliefs about crime There is disproportioncoverage in African American males. Creates false perception in the way information is displayed. Need to base social policy on research not opinion. Media contributes to crime myths: Select people to be interviewed: don’t know how representative that story is of the general population. How did they get the people to participate in the research? Use value-laden language: when saying someone attacked someone we can say they “preyed” on that person to make it sound more interesting. Presenting data that are misleading (numbers vs. rates): need to take into account the population size instead of just a number of murders that year compared to last year therefore it is distorted. Emphasizing violent crime: newspapers fail to provide the correct context to interpret the information fully Failing to provide the social and or historical context: focus on the individual and take focus away from community/population. Also create stereotypes Fear of crime
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