How crime is represented in the Media

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There are several different types of media in the UK. A few examples are; TV, newspapers and the internet. In today's civilization the media is extremely powerful and very leading and possesses the ability to influence people's opinions on crime or even change their minds about it. The views that the public have about the nature of the social world can be influenced by TV. TV provides the public with realistic reconstructions with shows like Crime watch or they air realistic TV dramas about crime feeding the public more information. TV also has several news programmes which provide the public with real stories about crime. Newspapers, such as 'The Sun' are a vital type of media as they keep the public informed about crime and crime statists', they keep the public in touch with the area around them and the public can construct meaning from the information they read. Recent Research has shown that newspapers are the public's primary source of information about crime in the UK. The internet is another way of gaining knowledge about crime in the UK; the internet contains a huge amount of information about crime. There are always recent crime stories on homepages such as Yahoo and Google, when first logging onto the internet before even going to a website the public can read about a recent crime.

The hypodermic Syringe Model is the belief which suggests that the audience watching a media text are passive viewers and are like sponges; absorbing everything the media suggests. Violent images in media texts can influence the behaviour of some vulnerable people in society. For example, showing a reconstruction of a violent murder on Crime watch may result in some audiences becoming violent themselves over what they see. They may go out and repeat what they saw in the show like a copy cat killing or they may be very violent and angry towards the people that committed the crime and determined to find them. Or it may result in some audiences feeling like after watching the reconstruction they have a strong connection with the victim and their families and they feel as though it is their duty to do something to help. Or the audience may become desensitised to the violence they see, accepting higher levels of violence in society. When an audience views a TV show like Crime watch, they are stimulated into a response they become passive and are injected with the thoughts, attitudes, opinions and beliefs of the show, meanings of the text are very easy to find and Crime watch will influence the ideas of the audiences over what kind of people commit the crimes and what religion they are, what they look and dress like.
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Self fulfilling prophecy is much like the labelling theory. People become criminals when members of society label them as so. People then accept the labels as personal identity. Self fulfilling prophecy is a prediction that causes it to become true. In relation to Crime watch, they will inject their ideas into the audience's minds of what kind of people they label as criminals. This may be a certain race or group in society. The audience will have expectations of these kinds of people in life. For example, if Crime watch described a gang of criminals simply as 'Youths' ...

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