Student number: s515487
Student name: Luama-Rose Coughran
Course name: CCJ113 Introduction to Criminology and Criminal Justice
Course tutor:Sharon Hayes
Date due: 21st October, 2018
Take Home Essay
In what ways does the media misrepresent the nature of crime?
In today’s society the media misrepresents the nature of crime. The media can cover a large range of different media accounts such as Television, Radio, Social Media and Newspapers. It is important that the public’s perception of crime do not follow the same statistics as law enforcement (Courtney075, 2017, p1). The media tend to only report crimes with ratings that will profit their marketing criteria. Listed below are three arguments demonstrating how the media can misrepresent crime in today’s society. Firstly, Media report what they believe the public are interested in hearing about. Secondly, when showcasing crimes, the media can sometimes over/under estimate the seriousness of a crime. Thirdly, stereotypes with both victims and perpetrators influence media portrayal of crimes.
First argument supporting what the media reports to the public, is off what they believe society want to read and hear about. The media select certain types of crime which is deemed as ‘worthy’ as the medias market place is to gasp a larger audience as possible as they are a profit orientated organisation. Some argue that the media’s construction of crime is more than just selective, and that it is of an agenda-setter (Surette R, 1996).
It is the medias job as an agenda-setter to define crime problems in a way that the public will proceed to discuss or debate about. As it is the medias job to define what types of crime are brought forward to societies attention. Only certain kinds of criminal justice responses are brought forward and then presented as controlled crimes. Research has found that the media reports the nature of crime in a way that brings crime and its control to the foremost issue of policy-makers’ assessing imperative social problems (Teece M ; Makkai T, 2000).
The public tend to depend on the media’s presentation almost exclusively for information on recent data from Australian Survey of Social Attitudes how that 70% of respondents agree the ‘people who break the law show be given a more server punishment when sentenced’ (Indermaur & Roberts, 2005).
Secondly, when showcasing crimes, the media can sometimes overestimate or under estimate the seriousness of a crime. Official crime statistics show that most crime is non-violent; however, the media reports often suggest the opposite (Critcher C, 2003). Despite the deception of the media, homicide statistics have decrease in the past 10 years (Australian Institute of criminology, 1024. Australian Crime: Facts and Figures 2013). In Australia, studies have shown that a substantial proportion of the population incorrectly believe that the crime rates are increasing when, in fact, they are stable or declining (Indermaur D & Roberts L, 2005). The media is the primary source of indirect knowledge of the crime problem and by selectively presenting crime to society in a dramatized manner; it has led the public to believe that crime rates are high and rising. The assumption that the volume of crime is high and rising is one of the main arguments advanced by society.
Thirdly, stereotypes with both victims and perpetrators influence media portrayal of crimes. The medias representation of various crimes such as violent or sexual crimes is portrayed as stranger-danger. The media portrays that victims are selected at random and that the offender does not know them at all, however, the assumption that an offender does not know their victim is an argument advanced by society. Evidence has shown that in fact most victims are not victimised by strangers (Tiby E, 2009). In actual fact, women are more likely to become the victim of violence from someone they know (Hayes H & Prenzler T, 2009). The medias inaccurate representation of stranger-danger has affected the nature of crime presented to today’s society.
The nature of crime in our society today is obviously not accurate by the media, it is clear that the evidence shown through television, radios and newspapers is the primary source of knowledge of crime from the media. It is through the media coverage that shape and make how crime is portrayed in today’s society. It is though the medias business operating for profit that they complete in a marketplace which attracts a large range of the public as an audience, giving the media an idea of what they may feel is ‘worthy’ to news values.
The media have the capacity to escalate public fear of crime by focusing on selective crimes given.
Courtney, (2017) https://www.allfreepapers.com/Miscellaneous/In-What-Ways-Does-the-Media-Misrepresent-the/113549.htmlIndermaur D & Roberts L, 2005
Surette R, 1996
Teece M & Makkai T, 2000Critcher C, 2003
Australian Institute of criminology, 1024. Australian Crime: Facts and Figures 2013
Tiby E, 2009
Hayes H & Prenzler T, 2009
Violent crime can be a source of concern, but is it the most frequently occurring type of crime in society?
New page – 2. Violent crime can be a source of concern, but is it the most frequently occurring type of crime in society?