Crime in the Media
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Crime in the Media
The importance of mass media is to convey what is happening to the public. So it acts as the public’s primary source for information. When it comes to crime, the media communicates to the public about the crime committed, the nature and even at times communicate about the punishment one is given after committing a crime. When we watch at nightly news, television programs, movies, or even read newspapers, we get to know the types of crimes that are reported, discussed or shown. When I watched all those programs, I found that the most reported crimes that are committed by the public are crimes like; Property crimes, violent crimes, crimes about drugs, hate crimes, gangs, and use of illegal weapons.
More often, the violent crimes are selected by the media. This is because violent crimes provide very good visuals for print coverage or television. They select violent crimes because those crimes involve victims who according to the society are the weakest such as women, the elderly and the children. The other reason as to why they select to publicize violent crimes is that they involve celebrities and famous people and also because crime stories have a very big market (Matthew, 2011). Again, the newspapers and the television programs, exaggerate and report the racial minorities to be the top suspects of violent crimes and take the whites to be the victims of the crime. They then make conclusions that when the whites are compared to the people of the other color, they are taken to be more punitive (Ray, 2014). Then there is a misjudgment by the white about the crimes that the black Americans commit together with the Latinos. Those who stand by the whitescontribute so much in making the African Americans to be viewed as bad people of which in reality it is not true. When those news are overspread by those people who do discrimination by color, this creates more attention to the whites and they keep on hating the minorities who are the African Americans. Another research carried out in Los Angeles showed that the crime news that were reported were reported to have been committed by the black Americans were 37% while in reality the blacks only contributed 21% of those who were arrested in the whole city. Another research showed that the homicides that were committed by the whites had a percentage of 43% but when it came to crime reports, only 13% were reported. This was funny because only 10% of homicides committed by the black Americans were in their crime reports whereby the whites had been victimized by the blacks and in the television the cases were reported to be 42%. These kind of disparities happen nationwide especially when they take into consideration the victim’s race. In television news the black crime doers were threatened so greatly and condemned in a way that was threatening as compared to the whites.
When it came to televising the news, the blacks were named their names and individualized and were seen in shot mugs while the whites were left unnamed.
Past research show that the public has been relying on crime reports that the media give and yet it usually an exaggerated and biased information (Yvonne, 2010). After the public seeing the crime news, they then develop their opinion based on the news that they watch or read.
Generally, in the whole world crime is overrepresented as compared to the real crimes that are committed in the society today. The mass media presents distorted images instead of presenting the reality. My overall reaction about this is that there is racial discrimination and this should be stopped because there is no American who is better than the other. All of them are equal and should be treated in the same way. The media portrays the crime as increasing while in reality national numbers show that violent crime has been decreasing since 1994. They do this in order to make the public who watch the news to be informed how intensive the crime is and that if someone commits the crime the punishment will be heavy. So they just do this in order to caution the public so as to reduce the rates in which crimes are committed.
Matthew, R(2011). Media Coverage of Crime and Criminal Justice: Carolina Academic Press.
Ray, S (2014). Media, Crime and Criminal Justice: Wadsworth Publishers.
Yvonne, J (2010). Media, Crime and Criminal Justice: Images, Realities, and Policies:
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SO 206 Assignment 7 Crime in the Media.docx