Crime in Media

An opinion has been formed that crime is not accurately presented through the media within our society. In this essay, it will be demonstrated that through statistics and facts how this opinion is created. The media has a powerful role in how crime is seen within the community, and despite the statistics and information that is present to us we rely heavily on informed that is presented to us through media outlets such as newspaper, television, social media. Crime is delivered to the community through a variety a media exposure.

In the text book, Introduction into Crime and Criminology, Chapter 1, the literature discusses at great lengths that media portrayal, is not consistent with what official records and researches inform us. The media presents crime as predominately of violent nature. Often it can be argued if the increase on the coverage of real crime is intended increased entertainment rather than assisting police.

Many people argue that crime is based on its newsworthiness, and ability to sell to the community. For example crimes along the lines of white collar, pollution etc do not keep the same attention as more violent crimes like murder, assault. What ever the nature of a particular crime story, media is always selective, it is always a result of decision making process about which crimes, criminals and events are considered to be the most newsworthy to report:

‘The news reporter does not go out gathering news, and picking up stories as if they were fallen apples, he creates news stories by selecting fragments of information from the mass of raw data he receives and organises them is a conventional journalistic form. (Chibnall 1977, p.6)’

Media does have the ability to inform the public about the reality of crime, they generally report of various crimes that more universal and threatening. According to the ‘Australia Bureau of Statistics (2008), a number of crimes reported to the police was lower in 2007 then in 1998 in categories such as homicide, unlawful entry with intent, robbery, motor vehicle theft and other theft. Although through media reporting these particular crimes are on the increase. The discrepancy between statistics of crime rate and public’s perception is commonly attributed to extensive media coverage. Television programs as a source of information given to the public, change people’s views and encourage people to have similar opinions to the what the media regurgitates to assist forming opinions.

Crime tv shows glorify crime

Research displays that crime is over reported as of violent nature. There has been many ‘myths’ reported about crime, and this mainly is represent ,as this, to the community to be able to keep them interested. In a generalisation some statistics, collated by a diverse range of sources, show that crime is decreasing, where as the reporting done by media sources show an increase of crime through those areas.