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How is Crime represented in the Media

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How is Crime represented in the Media? In this Coursework I will be discussing, analyzing and evaluating the issue of Crime Represented in the Media. I chose this Specific topic because Crime plays an important part in the media. To me this is the most interesting topic I could discuss, it involves so many questions which I don't know the answers to and so to grasp this topic I will carry out an Investigation, analyzing aspects of Crime and the media such as Over Reporting, Moral Panics and Stereotyping. My aim is to explain the impact of the media's portrayal of crime on the reader and on the general public and how the media portrays crime. I will do this research by carrying out Cross-sectional studies, gathering sociological information perhaps from other sociologists, carrying out questionnaires, interviews, gathering statistics and just looking at different forms of media. I will use different people of different ages to carryout my questionnaires. Before carrying out my research I expect there to be reporting of negative aspects of crime such as rising statistics of certain crimes e.g. knife crime, instead of levels of certain crimes decreasing. Crime is an act punishable by law, as being forbidden by law or harmful to the public welfare. The characteristics of these could be peer pressure, criminals have not been taught the difference between 'right and wrong', mental illness. The majority of prisoners have mental health problems, a failure to rehabilitate ex-offenders back into society. Age The most common ages to commit crime are 14-20. After age 25 there is a steep drop in criminal activity as people take-on new roles such as wage-earner, parent, spouse etc. The possibility of jail time becomes a more-serious matter because of the impact it will have on the person's life and responsibilities. As people get older they take-on more personal responsibilities, for example work, and social responsibilities (children or a partner for example) ...read more.

Middle

if they have certain views seen as extreme. It is also my responsibility to make clear what the research is about and where the information will go. Before I conducted my Cross-sectional survey I drew up a pilot survey. (Refer To Appendix A) For My pilot Survey I choose Six respondents, they all responded well to it. They answered the questions with no hesitation and no confusion. For my final survey I chose to use 30 respondents. So I decide to go ahead in using the questions in my final survey. Below are the results of my final survey. Content Analysis 1. 73% thought that the media over report crime. The reason for this is the media see certain types of crime as newsworthy. As they are interested in gaining as much audiences as they can, in order to generate more profits. In order to maintain this, the media will need to provide news that will appeal to there viewers. Steve Chibnal argued that the media are obsessed with certain types of crime and in doing so over report them. His study "Law and order" news stated that the media do base their news on the value of the story or newsworthiness. 2. 60% of my respondents read tabloid newspaper rather than Broadsheets. This may be because Broadsheets are a lot more political and tabloids focus mainly on social problems, for the majority of my respondents they probably would find this a lot more interesting. 3. 83% of my respondents thought that broad sheet's have a more accurate view on crime, tabloids newspapers tend to romanticize crime and are bias at times. They may see broadsheets as more truthful and believable as there work involves research. 4. 90% of my respondents thought that crime was on the rise, in fact Crime in the last 10 years has decreased dramatically. This shows that the media's portrayal of Crime has altered the public's perception of it so much that there view is completely wrong. ...read more.

Conclusion

To carry out this enormous task I would interview 20 people a week over a period of 5 weeks. Also the quality of my work research would have been much greater if I analyses other mediums, I would have a more extensive analysis of crime in these. I could possibly differentiate between how some of them view crime. The Mediums I would analyse would be T.V, Magazines and Film. I would also analyze how the media portray deviant groups and ethnic groups when they commit crime. This would broaden my research and would give a deeper understanding of how the media portray people and why. Conclusion I conclude that the media have a big influence on society's idea of crime. They romanticize stories in order to create more money, and in doing so form and alter peoples opinions of crime. They also stereotype groups, so they can be made scapegoats or "Folk devils" so they would have someone to blame and would obsess about getting rid of the problem in the upcoming weeks, months or years. They also create moral panic, spreading fear and panic. The annual British Crime Survey examines public fear and anxiety about crime in relation to the types of newspapers they read. Asked if they were very worried about being attacked by a stranger, six per cent of broadsheet readers said that they were, compared with 17% of tabloid readers. Similar differences were found in the case of burglary, mugging and rape. These factors are the tools which the media use to create interest and ultimately money. But the question remains how long will the media keep this up and will use another issue as a tool. So all in all crime is represented as an issue which occurs to much .However the media again over report crime, so this is not necessarily true. They all so show crime is on the rise, however it isn't as it's actually decreased. Therefore the media appear to be wide off the mark when it comes to this issue. And do nothing more than add fuel to it. ...read more.

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