Crime and the Media

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  • Created by: parvos98
  • Created on: 24-02-15 16:14
Media-saturated society
A society wherein people are constantly exposed to media. E.g. 24 hour news broadcasts.
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Socially constructed
Refers to how criminal activity is defined by society, that humans define what is criminal and what is not.
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Distorted Picture
The over/under representation of crime by the media and the nature of the criminals and victims.
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Williamson and Dickinson
(1993) Newspapers devote up to 30% of their news space to crime. CRIME SELLS.
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(1998) Found 4 distorted characteristics of media crime reports.
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Age fallacy
Media portrays victims and criminals as being older, whereas stats show both are younger.
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Dramatic fallacy
The media over-represents violent and sexual crimes. This is because it has dramatic appeal.
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(1991) Found that violent crime was 36 times more likely to be reported than property crime in American news.
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Ingenuity fallacy
Media exaggeration of police efficiency, as they are more likley to put more resources into solving a violent crime than a mundane property crime.
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Victim fallacy
Media exaggeration of the risk of victimisation, aimed at women and the elderly.
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Social process
The process by which news is "created" where certain stories are involved in news but others are rejected as not being newsworthy.
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News values
The criteria by which "Gatekeepers" (journalists and editors) decide whether a story is newsworthy enough to make the headlines.
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(1977) Found that stories are more likely to appear in the news if it contains "news values".
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A news value which asks if the story is a current event.
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A news value asking if the story is exciting and riveting.
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A news value looking for human interest or a story on important individuals.
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Higher-status persons
A news value which requires the story to involve a celebrity or influential individual.
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A news value whch ensures the story can be understood by all potential viewers. E.g. a story on 5 people being shot will be more favoured than a story on the workings of the world finance system.
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A news value that checks to see if the story is new or fresh and is not old news.
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Risk and violence
News values that ask if a story is victim centered and involves some degree of violence (like a hostage situation).
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The reason why people find crime more interesting. It is not a frequent or daily occurrence (in most lives) and therefore, people are drawn to them.
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Fictional perceptions.
The perceptions of crime that are generated by the entertainment industry. People only see crime in extremes in films and TV (e.g. instead of a mugging, there will be a massacre. robberies will be replaced by bank raids etc.
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(1998) Argues that fictional representations of crime are similar to news broadcasts as they both show a distorted picture of crime.
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Law of opposites
refers to how it is ironic that the portrayal of crime in film, which is direct fiction, is similar to portrayals of crime in the news, which is intended as informative fact.
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Bleeding effect.
Refers to how the media is viewed as a cause of crime. People (mainly young people) are exposed to criminal and violent behaviour on TV, movies and games and are enticed to commit "copycat crime"
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ways in which the media encourages crime.
Fuels hatred (e.g. islamophobia)/ makes crime attractive (e.g. material rewards outweigh punishment possibilities)/ imitation (e.g. rioting, football hooliganism)/ idolisation (e.g. viewing criminals as role models)/ simplifies crime.
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Bandura's Bo-Bo Doll
(1977) an experiment which showed that exposure to media violence had a small and limited negative effect on the audiences.
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Hypodermic syringe model
The theory where humans are regarded as passive direct recipients of media brainwashing. This has been argued against by Giddens.
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Argued against HSM with that people are reflexive. they interpret media output rather than accept it. They can differentiate between fantasy and reality.
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Stanley Cohen
(1972) Researched into the Mods and Rockers fighting. Saw that the media still plays a part in amplifying deviance and causing moral panics.
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Deviancy amplification.
Where a deviant act is portrayed by the news to be much worse than it really is, often causing a moral panic (1960s Mods and Rockers).
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Moral Panic
An intense panic or concern towards a deviant act or event that appears to threaten social order, arises among the public, often causing unnecessary public and government action
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(1995) claims that Cohens theory is too simplistic as some groups and subcultures will actively seek media attention to raise their profile. (e.g. Westboro Baptist Church).
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Media police tools.
Examples of where the media attempt to deal with crime. E.g. Crimewatch, Cowboy builders, Dateline.
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Media fear mongering.
How the media has developed to create an unrealistic fear of crime by exaggerating risks and events of crime.
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Schlesinger and Tumber
(1992) found a correlation between media viewing and crime fear. Those who read tabloids and heavily watched TV expressed a greater fear of crime, particularly over mugging and assault.
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Cyber Crime
Crime that takes place on the internet or computers. This includes data crime, hacking, *********** and cyber-terrorism.
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(2003) Claims that the developpment of the internet has allowed greater opportunity for crime. This includes conventional crimes such as fraud and new crimes like piracy.
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Policing cyber crime.
Policing the web is very difficult due to its size and the limited resources and skill of the police. Furthermore, the globalised nature of cyber crime makes it difficult to apprehend suspects who may be in another jurisdiction.
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While there is no proven link between crime and media viewing, each individual is affected differently by media portrayals of crime, which can be influenced by how exposed the person is to the media.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


Refers to how criminal activity is defined by society, that humans define what is criminal and what is not.


Socially constructed

Card 3


The over/under representation of crime by the media and the nature of the criminals and victims.


Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4


(1993) Newspapers devote up to 30% of their news space to crime. CRIME SELLS.


Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5


(1998) Found 4 distorted characteristics of media crime reports.


Preview of the back of card 5
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