Media Representations Of Crime Notes

  • Created by: Elannm
  • Created on: 24-05-16 21:10

Media Representations Of Crime



·       Ericson et al – 45-71% of quality press and radio news was about various forms of deviance and its control.

·       Williams & Dickinson – British newspapers devote 30% of their news space to crime.

·       The media distort the image of crime, criminals and policing – compared to official statistics the media:

Ø  Over-represent violent and sexual crime

v  Ditton & Duffy – 46% of media reports were about violent or sexual crimes – even though these only made up 3% of all crimes recorded by the police.

v  Marsh – violent crime was 36x more likely to be reported than a property crime in the USA.

Ø  Portray criminals and victims as older and more middle class

v  Felson – calls this the ‘age fallacy’.

Ø  Exaggerates police success

v  Due to the police being a major source of crime stories – want to present themselves in a good light.

v  Also because the media over-represents violent crime which has a higher clear up rate.

Ø  Exaggerate the risk of victimisation

v  Especially to women, white people and higher status individuals.

Ø  Crime is reported as a series of separate events

v  Without structure and without examining underlying causes.

Ø  Overplay extraordinary crimes

v  Felson – calls this ‘dramatic fallacy’.

v  Also, the media makes us believe that we need to be


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