Crime and the Media Essay

Crime and the Media Essay

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If there is one thing Australian society has an abundance of, it is images and opinions about crime. It is the central theme running through many forms of communication in the modern society. Whether the issue of crime is, drug-related, violent, juvenile, child abductions, serial killers, youth gangs, or crimes against the elderly, a public consensus exists that crime is rampant, dangerous and threatening to explode.

Crime-wise, Australia is comparatively a safe place to live, though often the perception of crime is much higher.There is a widespread concern that the level and type of crime reported in the media presents a distorted view of the real level of crime in the community. The reality of crime has been manipulated and blanketed by a constructed reality, where the more isolated and rare incidents weave a tapestry of fear, panic and hysteria. This leads to prejudice towards, and stereotyping of certain groups, individuals becoming isolated from the community through fear of crime and the imposition of draconian measures to fight crime.

Crime is seen as deviant behaviour that violates prevailing norms which are the cultural standards prescribing how humans ought to behave normally. This violation of a law;-offences against the person, violent offences, sexual offences and offences against property, causes injury to the public or an individual and a term in jail or prison, and/or a fine are possible penalties.#

The media play an indispensable role in modern life, and are considered amongst the most powerful and inaccurate sources of social information, education and entertainment. Our mass media is an electronic (TV, film, video, videogames, internet) visually dominated media with print (newspaper, magazine)...


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...titute of Criminology, Recorded Crime Rates 2003
# Ibid.
# Carcach, C. 2005. Crime and punishment in Australia, 1980-2000, in Tonry M & Farrington DP (eds), Crime and punishment in Western countries, 1980-1999. Chicago: the University of Chicago Press:295-330
# Gottfredson, M. 1986, ‘Substantive Contributions of Victimisation Surveys’ in Crime and justice: An Annual Review of Research, vol 7, eds Michael Tonry & Norval Morris, University of Chicago Press, Chicago
# Barkan, 1997
# Potter, G., & Kappeler, V. Constructing Crime - Perspective on Making News and social Problems (2nd edition). Griffith University Libraries.
# Chappell, D.(1988) Australian Institute of Criminology, Violence, Crime and Australian Society
# Davis, B., & Dossetor, B. (2010) Trends and Issues - (Mis)perceptions of Crime in Australia, Rex & Tonry 2002; Roberts & Indermaur 2009. No.396

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