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Conceptions of crime are distorted by exposure to media coverage

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Introduction

Conceptions of crime are distorted by exposure to media coverage. Discuss. This cours from coursework.inf coga ga" . "r se" . ga . "ga" . "w or". ga . " " . ga . "k inga foga " . ga . "! The media constitutes a major part of modern society and plays a large role in our lives. It is the prime source of information and entertainment, and moreover acts as a strong influence on public belief and opinion. The media is highly influential in coae ae" . "r se" . ae . "ae" . "w or". ae . " " . ae . "k inae foae " . ae . ". shaping our views upon the world in which we live. When it comes to crime, coae ae" . "r se" . ae . "ae" . "w or". ae . " " . ae . "k inae foae " . ae . ". however, do the reports shown by the media present an accurate picture of the true This cours from coursework.inf events? The more horrific the report, the more likely it is to capture the attention of the public, which obviously secures plenty of profit for media barons. Is our increasing reliance on an institution that relies on sensationalism to create profit unwise, as this could well mean that the facts they report lack truth? The media reinforces social myths by selective reporting, and thus presents a distorted view of reality. ...read more.

Middle

Media coverage usually concentrates on the most violent and shocking aspects of crime. This can often be far from the truth, and puts the public in fear when in reality there is a tiny chance of them falling victim. Listening to the news, it appears that the country is riddled with serial killers and rapists however official crime statistics would show that this is not the case. Reporting like this can lead to mass panic and fear across the country, and this aspect was investigated further by Stanley Cohen in his book ?Folk Devils and Moral Panics? where he studied the 1960s mods and rockers conflicts. The media?s handling of the fights between the rivals groups made it sound as if Brighton was full of riots and was a very dangerous place, when in reality this was a false picture of events. However, these stories grabbed the headlines, and as a result appealed to a large audience and gained lots of attention with the public. At the moment there is lots of media coverage about murders in Cornwall, and about the girl who was kidnapped and murdered on Dartmoor. The way these are reported makes people fearful that there is a serial killer on the loose, when in reality there is probably little chance of this happening to them and they should be more concerned with the more common but less ?colourful? crimes that threaten society, most of which would be much more obvious if the public were able to look at official crime statistics. ...read more.

Conclusion

For some reason, society has a far greater fear of murder and other violent crime than is justified by the actual number of occurrence, when in reality there is far greater likelihood of incidences of burglary or car crime. So where do these fears stem from? The answer appears to be that they come from the way in which the media report crimes and how they select the most newsworthy aspects so that more papers will get sold and so viewing figures will increase. In conclusion it is an unavoidable fact that our society is so immersed in the media that its influence is hard to get away from. To a large extent, media does form our social world, however it is also true that people are active interpreters of information, and are able to utilize their own opinions on events and stories shown by the media. We are only taking in what the media offer to us not the real truth about what is happening. It is very easy for our conceptions of crime to be distorted by the way that the media portray it, as the only information we are receiving on the events is that which comes from the media. However if people really are actively interpreting and thinking about the true nature of crime levels, while attempting to broaden their horizons of information, then they will be more aware of the reality of the situation and our conceptions will be far less influenced by media constructed images and opinions. ...read more.

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