Media Distortion of Crime Reports

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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. I will begin by explaining why the media is important, and go further to explain that media representations construct knowledge of crime and since knowledge about crime is constructed it does not necessarily capture reality in fact crime stories are often sensationalised. I will then link this to my central argument that the media shapes people’s perceptions of crime and how this is important as it can lead to changes in the law. I will then explain what it is that the public or society needs to be aware of when reading and watching media reports about crime. We need to be aware of bias and moral panics that are created by the media and how the media shapes or influence’s public perception through this, it is important for us to be aware of misleading or false crime stories so that we are not swayed by the media in believing what they want us to believe.

The media provides us with knowledge about crime and it is through the media that the public learns about these certain events, and these events can be based anywhere in the world. Very few people have direct experience with crime and so the media is important in that it is a major source of crime related information. The media reports crime, and other issues, for p...

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... groups such as the ‘mods’ and the ‘rockers’ the media persuaded the audience to think that these groups where criminals and not good role models to other kids without this actually being a fact. Again we need to be aware of how the media reports crime events.

The media is our main source of knowledge about crime and other issues about the world. It shows us what is happening in the world which is beyond our direct experience and so it is very important. However the media can present a false view of reality and contain bias that the public needs to be aware of. The way the media represents crime can reinforce fear and create moral panic but as media consumers it is our job to critically analyze the content of the news and ask questions about the crimes that are shown in the media as to not be effected by the media in trying to shape our perceptions about crime.