Influence Of Mass Media On Crime And Justice

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Society’s fascination with crime and justice has always been high. From films, books, newspapers, magazines, television broadcasts, to everyday conversations. The community is constantly taking part in crime "talk". The mass media plays a significant role in the construction and portrayal of criminality and the criminal justice system. The public’s perception of law enforcement officials, victims, and criminals, is largely determined by how they are depicted in the media. Recent studies indicate that the majority of public knowledge regarding crime and justice stems from the media. Therefore, it is imperative to examine the effects that the mass media have on attitudes toward crime and justice. Effectiveness of law enforcement and fear of crime are important aspects of public attitudes toward the criminal justice system. Not only do police strategies reflect departmental values, they reflect their local community values as well. How the police are portrayed in the media can have a crucial effect on citizen’s attitudes toward the police. If the public forms a negative opinion regarding their local law enforcement agency this can cause problems with community relations and may influence citizens’ decisions to report a crime. This can have an even bigger effect if citizen’s fear of crime rises or they develop punitive attitudes toward law enforcement. This may influence policy making and law making by government agencies, as public support or opposition may determine policy. Recent studies reveal that there are mixed results regarding the influence of the news media on creating an attitude of fear among the general public. Research has shown that individuals who watch a large amount of television, including news programs, felt more t... ... middle of paper ... ..., of which Ms. Graziosi violated through her comments on Facebook. Social media misconduct has proven to be a constant problem for law enforcement personnel. Unlike the citizens in the community they are held to a higher standard both in and out of uniform. The ever growing popularity of the media in today’s society will constantly be an obstacle for law enforcement to overcome. Achieving a positive relationship with media outlets can be extremely helpful, along with proper training in regards to social media. This can lead to better community involvement and an improved perception of the law enforcement personnel within the community. However, officers are not only limited to the consequences of the duties of their job, but with media being accessible with the touch of a button, officers must remember the civil liability that the performance of their job entails.
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