Myths tend to provide the necessary information for the construction of a "social reality of crime (Quinney, 1970)." As crime related issues are debated and re debated, shaped and reshaped in public forms, they become distorted into myth, as largely seen in the mass media. The social construction of myths of crime and criminal justice seems to follow a series of recurrent patterns. These patterns allow for an unprecedented amount of social attention to be focused upon a few isolated criminal events or issues. This attention is promoted by intense, but often brief, mass media coverage of a select problem.
Throughout society there are both individuals and groups of people with a wide range of perceptions about crime and justice. These perceptions are influenced by the media and what the media presents. Media presents crime stories in ways that selectively distort and manipulate public perception, thus creating a false picture of crime. Therefore the media provides us with perceptions and social constructions about our world. Firstly I will be discussing the role of the media in constructing knowledge about crime.
These concepts will demonstrate how the recent Santa Barbara Shooting is a major media event that reflects a familiar narrative through which social reality is shaped and social issues addressed. Firstly, Cultivation theory suggests that heavy television exposure encourages a world of ideas that is consistent and biased toward reality, or what culture perceives as reality, as depicted in the media. While at first being used and depended on to draw a crowd, violence has since been practiced as an ongoing theme in many different forms of communication. Today, in a world where media content is saturated with violence, Gerbner’s theory explains why this has become such a recognised event. News on crime and violence is being used as a powerful tool for political discourse, strengthening existing sociocultural norms and fuelling the economic power of media conglomerates.
The abundant showcasing of crime starts to change the way the public perceives it thus turning the monogamous relationship between the media and the public into a lover’s triangle now between the media, the public, and crime. The studies on this polyamorous relationship between the media, the public and crime have resulted in various conclusions. Some research signifies that the media influences the public’s opinion on crime while others show that the public is the main influence on the crime content in the media. The way the media depicts criminal justice through the showcasing of violent crimes, the portrayal of the offender, and the representation of evidence influences the public’s opinion on crime therefore to keep the public’s opinion on crime closer to true reality, one must be fully aware of the way the media provides the information as well as who provides
One might turn on any evening news broadcast these days and be bombarded with images of war, violence and stories of unsuspecting citizens victimized in their own communities. Is crime on the increase or is it just media hype? There are countless television shows with plots dedicated to the depiction of criminal activities fouled by law enforcement agencies with the helping hand of the law. Newspaper headlines scream out daily in bold print and action photos of the latest tragedies. Should the public be fearful of what the television conveys to us, be cautious of whatever new crime wave is presented on the media?
For example, a film such as Lethal Weapon 4 (1998) is hybrid with action and has a romantic subplot. Bad Boys (1995) uses both action and comedy as hybrid elements with crime, as does Rush Hour (1998). Crime is a mainstream genre. However it appeals to both mainstream and independent producers. This is because genre can be dealt in different ways: it can be used to explore universal themes such as good vs evil, ‘crime doesn’t pay’, etc.
This writing direction is what many great writers have used to enhance their story/film and to also hide the identity of the criminal till the end. Another factor in Crime writing is the expectation of the crime genre also known as Crime Literature elements. These include; a crime, victim(s), body, suspect(s), weapon(s), motive, al... ... middle of paper ... ...s and misclues lead to a successful guessing game of a story. In addition of matching the Narrative Model, this story also matches all the expectations of the Crime genre. The biggest expectation that is fulfilled is that the criminal’s identity is only revealed to us when intended by the Author, which is, obviously at the end of the story.
Television has become part of everyday life. With the growing fixation and attraction to violence in the media, children in today’s society are becoming more violent and aggressive than ever before. However, to obtain a true understanding of this problem we must look at all aspect that cause violence, and not just put all of the blame on the media. Nevertheless, we shouldn’t forget the number one violence causing aspect, the media. America was founded upon violence; and we have always been a society of power and control.
The problem itself also lies in the fact that as society progresses with technology the special effects one see 's on television and movies become more and more realistic. Today, the average person is exposed to more gruesome violence than ever before. If the main motivation in criminals, mentally ill or sane, evolves from the negative influence provided by the media, such as the cases of Lanza and Holmes, then it is clearly evident that changes need to be made in order to limit what the average consumer is exposed
In the modern world, how people perceive and act in relation to crime and criminals is influenced and shaped by the media. The print media’s representations of certain crimes such as child sexual abuse, and the discourses used in presenting child sexual abusers “work in the background, in [the] unconscious mind” (Trend, p.63) to influence readers to “make subtle changes in [their] attitudes” (Trend, p.63) towards crime and certain criminals. Not only does the media shape the view of crimes and their committers amongst society, but it also leads to criticisms of the legal system’s ability to deal with criminals. The print media also tends to perpetrate a myth of ‘crime wave’ through the, in most cases, false representations of increase in crime and crime rates. Through this, the media gives itself the power to abnormalize and normalize certain acts by declaring offenders as ill persons requiring treatment as well as being the differing ‘others’ who do not comply with certain ‘normalized’ behaviour .