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The Impact of Media on Society’s Perception of Crime

Jan 23, 2023 | 0 comments

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Jan 23, 2023 | Essays | 0 comments

Task 1

The media influence the understanding of crime in the society. From early times up to the present society, the media has acted as the main source of information for the masses. A huge portion of the reporting is in the media act as the main source of crime information to the people. This is so given that media acting as the primary source of information means that many will trust and believe that the media’s depiction of the crimes is accurate. The media has always relied on the principle of reporting on news items, which will receive a huge audience. Therefore, it is on this principle that crime is able to receive a large amount of coverage in the television broadcasts and the newspapers. The media believe that rare and serious crimes are items with a high amount of newsworthiness. Thus, such information will be given prevalence during broadcasting when they occur. The media select their news in a way that the news items which meet a given criteria will survive the newsgathering process as well as the selection process by the editors and the reporters. Crimes will thus be chosen as they act as good visuals for the coverage. To the media, there is a market for violent crimes. With the prevalence in such reporting, the people will form opinions about the crimes they witness. The frequency and repeated exposure due to the prevalence by the media on crimes over time make it easy for the people to accept them as true. The falseness or truth in such stories will not be considered. This means that the media accomplish in influencing people in understanding crime .

Task 2

Media coverage of the crime rates has increased the fear of crime beyond the actual risk of the crimes. In their reporting, the media has bent and distorted the view of crime to the people. In a study carried out by Williams & Dickinson in 1993, 65% of the newspapers contained crime reporting many of which involved violent crimes. This was despite the fact that the violent crimes at the time made up of for only 6% of all the recorded crimes. Also indicate that the percentage of such unfounded reporting is bound to take an even higher rate. With the newspaper acting as the main source of information at the time when the two researchers published their report, the rates are even higher with the current media channels such as social network sites. The channels make it easy for many in the society to get hold of information and faster. With such availability, people in the society will have received misleading data which translates to being more wary of crimes happening though the same may not be the case. Another source that has shown that the media has misrepresented the rates of crimes actually happening in the society is the Bowling for Columbine documentary released in 2002. The documentary highlighted the coverage by the media of the homicide rates. There was a fall in 20% of this kind of crimes. However, for the media, the news coverage of the murders rose by 60%. This means that the media will in most often offer and act as the source of unfounded fear as crime rates may be less while the society due to its consumption of media information think otherwise.

P5- Through media reports one can establish the most common crimes and the affected age group of criminal behavior. The media reports crime through incidences that occur such as rape, robbery, and vandalism. Other reports also include personal report survey on crime. The media is sometimes biased in crime reporting due to the number of followers it would like to acquire.

This headline is confronting how every 1 in 4 is a criminal. The article content goes further to give a survey of crime in school going children. This conveys that there is an increase of rape whilst violent crime is fading. This article presents both a positive and negative side of crime. This is showing statistics of an increase of men becoming a child abuser These are documentaries of crime based in the UK there are few pragmas about 10 based in the UK that are broadcasted in the main TV channel BBC. Whether biased or unbiased the public should be informed of crime in our midst or the potential thereof. The media not only informs but also protects most potential crime victims.

P6- The questionnaire meant to find out the effects of television on fear of crime, 15 correspondents were asked to evaluate personal risk to them and to their families out of seven risks listed. The risks included natural disasters such as earthquakes, motor vehicles, air travel, street drugs, cigarette smoke, bathroom accidents, and lastly violent crimes. The respondents were required to also give their take on the risk of the seven risks to the whole public. All the ratings were completed in a random order for each of the correspondents. Each of the willing respondents was picked randomly from the streets to eliminate biasness. In addition, none of the respondents came from the same location. For the risk ratings, a scale of one to four was used.

The results were that there was the almost no risk, little risk, average risk, and the high risk. In order to determine the television use frequency, the correspondents were required to fill the number of times they used the television for news. The ratings of the same were recorded on a scale of one to four-sometimes, never, rarely and often. For these, two rarely used the television, while three used it sometimes. None of the correspondents reported on never using the television. For the seven listed risks, the majority of the correspondents indicated street drugs and violent crimes as a high risk. Five indicated street drugs to be high risk with four indicating violent crimes to be high risk. Three indicated motor accidents as high risk, two indicated air travel as high risk while one indicated natural disaster as high risk. From the answers, a robust relation could be drawn between the use of the television and risk while holding such factors as age, gender, and income constant. The results suggested that television use raises the perceived risks of crime as compared to other risks.

A 2013 crime survey conducted in England and Wales suggest that the prevalence of crime varies from the crime type. There is also the likelihood of decrease of crime with age and the age group that is associated with crime is 16-24. Vandalism is reported as a highly prevalent crime, followed by vehicle related theft, household theft, bicycle theft, all kinds of violence and theft of personal property came last. The two studies cannot however be compared because of the different variable they test. They both reveal the crime rate is still high and that the media has the potential of creating an illusion of high crime rate when it’s not a reality.

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