Assignment_2_Example_and_Additional_Notes.pdf

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ASSIGNMENT #2 EXAMPLE Research question: How do the mass media shape Californians’ public opinion on crime and punishment issues? There is a body of evidence that public opinion about criminal justice is shaped to some degree by the media, particularly newspapers and television. Generally, while the news may not tell us what to think, it does tell us what to think about (Cohen, 1963). In recent years, crime is one of those things we are told to think about; it has been a high priority news agenda item for the past several decades (Cook and Skogan, 1990). The portrayal of crime in the news, however, is not merely a reflection of reality; it tends to be biased toward the violent and sensational. For example, Jencks (1991) suggests that the media tend to report only increasing crime rates, ignoring statistics illustrating decreasing rates, creating the perception that crime incidence is always on the rise. The education that television provides on crime is not limited to news programming. A plethora of programs offer up crime exclusively as entertainment
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  • Spring '12
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