There are many different ways that the media can affect the way crime is looked at. Many of the media companies will talk about increases in crime, but will only target the few specific crimes that have slightly increased but will not touch base on all the crime statistics that show decreases in other areas. The media has a very smooth way of focusing on violent crimes above all others. Homicides and violent crimes receive a much higher amount of attention than any other crimes.
If there was a bunch of minor traffic violations and a few tickets given out for minor things and one assault charge the only thing that would be brought up in the media is the assault charge. The media also presents homicides and other violent crimes in a teaser type fashion (Jensen). They make the situation look more appealing than it really is. They utilize non-specifics and add far more attention to the scene than what is needed.
All of this negative attention on what or two crimes give the impression that those specific crimes or crime in general is happening more frequently than it really is creating the illusion of a crime wave (Jensen). The Medias primary focus is to sell their information and if they can skew information or focus more on a few particular things to gain more sells they will. One of the most important aspects of a Law Enforcement Agency is the public’s view on the agency and the agencies reputation for integrity and honor.
The main thing a Law Enforcement agency should try to push when addressing the public is accuracy and honesty. The Law Enforcement Agency should also focus on not releasing information to early as to hinder the investigation or the Law Enforcement officers that are working the case. It is always important to try and make sure the information given is accurate the first time around so that you do not have to make embarrassing corrections later on, however, if you have to make a correction you should make it immediately and accurately (Jensen).
If the media had it their way they would make the United States think that stepping out their door and doing anything other than watching the media’s coverage would be the most dangerous thing to do, ever! Remember, the reporters and the media’s main goal is to sell their story, if that means they have to focus ninety percent of what they do on the negative and violent crimes they will. Even if those violent crimes only make up five percent of what is happening, that is all you will hear about.
The media will utilize any form of manipulation they can to skew a story to make it seem more worth of the coverage it is receiving then what it is really deserving of. This is not to say that the crime does not deserve publicity or coverage, but they blow violent crimes out of proportion. The statistics that the media gives and the amount of coverage they give to the small percent of violent crime gives fuel to the myths of crime waves and crime sprees. Law Enforcement Agencies should do their part to give correct, accurate and timely information to the public in a way that the media cannot skew it as easily.
The media is in to make money but the Law Enforcement Agency should be in it to better the community and to serve that community with the truth and honesty. The Law Enforcement Agencies get paid to protect the public and to have the highest levels of integrity possible. The Law Enforcement Officers get paid the same amount regardless; the same cannot be said for the media and their reporters. Works Cited Jensen, J. K. (n. d. ). Law Enforcement and the Media. Retrieved September 10, 2012, from http://www. jensenprivateinvestigations. com/law-enforcement-and-media/.