In examination of the current status of crime rates in the United States, analysts all agree that the U. S. crime rates are among the worst in the developed world. Compared to Canada, its next door neighbor, it is 73% more likely to be a victim of a violent crime in the United States (Moore 31). While there are many speculations as to why this is the case, this paper specifically investigates the involvement of media’s appetite towards violence as a significant contributor to America’s high crime rates as compared to Canada. American media loves violence.
No matter what channel it is that the American public turns to during primetime news, what are always at the top of the line are the violent incidents that happened throughout the day. Somehow, popular media has categorized crimes as the most watched items on the news and have therefore given them priority above other newsworthy items (Moore 77). This appetite for violence has even moved outside of the evening news so much so that we have a talk show hosted by the notorious Jerry Springer that actually features violence committed by everyday Americans on a live set.
This clearly shows that the U. S. media is hooked on violence. Canadians do not find real violence as entertaining on the evening news. According to interviews conducted by Moore, Canadian television does not typically present violent occurrences on the headlines. In fact, news items depicting car chases or robberies take a step back to news on rising energy costs or new national policies in Canadian news reporting (Moore 78).
This shows that crime is not popular entertainment for Canadians. The media plays a very important role in shaping the attitude of the community. When media highlights the violence perpetrated in a society, people naturally get scared and take up arms to protect themselves. There is lost of trust amongst citizens and an increase in apathy. With more people watching out for themselves and less people caring for others, crime is likely to go up.
American media’s appetite towards violence plays a significant part in the difference of crime rates between the U. S. and Canada. Media in the U. S. portray violent occurrences more prominently and therefore generate more violence from the public in return, translating to higher crime rates unlike in Canada, where there is less interest given to violence in the news and so lower crime rates are observed. Works Cited Moore, Michael. Bowling for Columbine. MGM/UA, 2003. ISBN-10: 0792854845