• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

'A nation stalked by FEAR' (The Sun, 17th July 2002). What can the study of newspaper coverage of official crime statistics tell us about the problem of crime?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

'A nation stalked by FEAR' (The Sun, 17th July 2002). What can the study of newspaper coverage of official crime statistics tell us about the problem of crime? The official statistics used to determine the crime rates and the problem of crime are based on the recording by the police of notifiable offences. The media then relate these statistics to the public. By studying newspaper coverage of official crime statistics would allow the public to determine for themselves the problem of crime, but is this a true picture of crime? I will in this essay explain the complexity of studying crime statistics through media coverage by using two newspaper articles one taken from The Sun, a tabloid newspaper and the other The Guardian which is a broadsheet, they are both daily newspapers. The media can generate fear; people read about crimes that happen and take it as it may happen to them. Different newspapers word and categorise crime differently according to who is reading it. Left realists believe that in inner city areas the media's coverage of crime reinforce what people already know. The majority of people that fear crime have never experienced crime, but read about it daily in newspapers and television. ...read more.

Middle

The Guardian's attitude towards Britain being a nation fearful of crime is overlooked. The BCS states that 43% of the readers of The Sun thought crime had shot up compared to only 26% of the readers of The Guardian. By deconstructing the figures in the two articles and comparing the two. The Sun seems to be taking the stance of Stanley Cohen's 'Moral Panics' in 1964. He researched the disturbances between Mods and Rockers on Easter Bank Holiday in Clacton. The national press spoke of 'a day of terror', whereby gangs of youths destroyed a whole town, but in reality there were no gangs, the disturbances happened on the sea front not the town centre as was assumed. The press admitted that they had over-reported on the crimes that were committed, but by this time the damage had already been done. Police stepped up surveillance, more arrests were made and this in turn added to more media hype and added more concern to the public. The media distorts real events as in Cohen's moral panics because of the media the youth at the time were labelled as deviant as such they adopted labels and were deviant to suit their labels. ...read more.

Conclusion

News stories reinforce people's stereo-typical perceptions of crime that enable society to respond to the problem of crime. The statistical rates of crime increased while the real crime rates dropped. Murder is the most reported crime, yet it is the least crime committed. Over-coverage will make the public believe there is more crime than what there actually is. Crime statistics need to paint a more accurate picture of the true extent of crime reporting accurately who suffers from crime and what can be done to prevent it. Other agencies could give more accurate information regarding crime and criminal activities than the police, such as health departments, coroner's offices, hospitals and the community itself. This would allow crime to be put into perspective with what is reported. The media not only causes fear of crime it also feeds the fascination that the public have about crime. Media and crime have become intertwined. Crimes such as murderer Ian Huntley who killed 2 young girls for example, the newspapers glorified in the stories that were reported, competing against each other to get the best headlines. The media are partial to institutional restraints as such the view is taken from the stance of the media's interpretation. WORD COUNT: 2077 WORDS Sharon Ebanks T274910X TMA01 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Crime & Deviance section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Crime & Deviance essays

  1. Crime: Social construction or reality?

    The event received the full front page of the national newspapers. Mods and Rockers were presented as rival gangs who beat up the whole town. They were involved in confrontation, acting aggressively towards local residents and destroyed a great deal of public property.

  2. How Accurate are Official Crime Statistics?

    they are looking to boost their own career, they may record more `straightforward` crimes, so that they can solve more cases, and benefit from a promotion. Some crimes are recorded, but due to work loads of officers may later be removed from records and classified as "non-crimes" in order to decrease heavy work schedules.

  1. 'Evaluate the use and importance of official crime statistics both in the tracking of ...

    The 'dark figure' of crime (unrecorded crimes) is not represented within the official criminal statistics. These unrecorded crimes can include anything from the pilfering of property in the workplace, to vandalism and the violent abuse of women and children within the home, (Muncie, J. 1998). These are crimes more usually picked up in self-reports or victimisation studies conducted by the British Crime Study (BCS)

  2. Free essay

    Assess the view that crime and deviance is the result of labelling, the media ...

    Matza believes that we all hold two levels of values which are conventional and subterranean. Conventional values are the normal roles that people have such as being a father or being in a occupation of some sort. And the subterranean values are of sexuality, greed and aggressiveness.

  1. The purpose of crime scene investigation is to help establish what happened at the ...

    possible angles such as from all four corners, from a doorway or from a window. When close-ups are necessary of key pieces of evidence, a ruler should be photographed with the items where relative size is important. While each photograph is being taken, a person should also be taking notes

  2. New Right Realism & New Left Realism. The realist approach to crime treats crime ...

    norms, especially if the norms are seen as out of date and irrelevant. It is likely that society will turn into a state of anomie until the same or new norms have been reinforced. Hirschi backs up Durkheim's work. He states that people commit crime when the relevant amount of social control is removed.

  1. Evaluate the accuracy of official statistics of crime.

    The sample was selected from the postcode address file, and a 74% return rate was achieved then random postcodes were selected for interviews. This survey found that between 1999 and 2000 burgalry fell by 17% violence also fell by 19% in this time.

  2. Outline and Evaluate two or more sociological theories of the usefulness of crime statistics ...

    Secondly interactionalists say that people give different meanings to their acts. Herbert Bulmer (1969) suggests that we think about our behaviour and act according to our perceptions. According to Howard Becker (1963) deviance is an act which has been labelled by society.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work