Media and crime.
Media controls people
perception on crime as they can control what people hear about the crime committed.
It is quite frequently argued that the media exaggerates the seriousness of
crime in Britain. The media, especially newspaper create a false and sometimes
harmful stereotypes for the public to read. They can create fear about certain
crimes and change how we look at crimes. For example, we use to live in an ‘innocent
until proven guilty’ time but in the last 10-20 years it is completely different
we now live in a ‘guilty until proven innocent’ time. This theory is heightened
depending on the social aspect of the accused. If they are a celebrity, the
media blows all allegations up, and ruin the reputations of the celebrity.
“The public’s knowledge
of crime is primarily derived from its depiction in the media. The media
affects the public’s opinion of crime and punishment, and its perception of the
police. If the media is responsible for the headlines, the conclusion is that
it influences the public’s attitude regarding crime incidents.” (Muraskin
and Domash 2007).
The majority of the public
find out about crime and crime statistic through media. “Even though you can
find out about crimes through gov.org and other such websites it is easier and
more commonly to hear of crime through media, such as social media websites.
The responsibility of giving the public the outline of the crime and the
accused and the victims falls in the social media.” (Joe Palmer 2017). When the
media, (For Example: BBC news) release statistic about crime they cannot lie
because the number do not lie and is what it is, whereas if they are given
information about the crime committed they can twist or manipulate the
information in favour of the biased party, they can do this to boost their
rating and to stir up speculations.
A big crime portrayed
wrongfully or maliciously is to do with child related crime or paedophilia
because it is a brake of innocence, because children are considered as naïve and
sweet, when a crime is committed against a child they are seen as worse than
say a murderer, this is due to the crime against children is more relatable as
more people have children so can see the innocent and naiveites is more taboo.
Professionals such as police
feel that media heightens the fear of crime. Especially with recent events that
are happening across the world including the United Kingdom, which is terror
crime. Media doesn’t just raise the fear of terror crime but all crimes as they
cover crime twenty-four hours a day, which increases peoples fear of crime as
they become more aware of the crime happening around them. PC Marshall DeBeer
said: “Not everybody is a burglar, but you still lock your door at night.” This
means that in his mind he feels that people fear that their house/living arrangements
are at a treat, this is due to the media, how they portray burglar, weather in
social media, newspapers on even on TV adverts.
The media has a big responsibility
for the fear of crime this is due to them publishing a specific criminal victimisation,
the media also create the illusion of an immediate environment to be
threatening, for example, teenagers who hang around McDonalds, smoking, being
load and in a big group are portrayed as ‘yobs’ or delinquents, teenagers who
are going to be unruly and being aggressive when pushed, this creates fear in
the public especially to those who are ages fifty plus. (Baumer 1985). “Numerous
writers have examined the proposition that the media present crime stories
(both factual and fictional) in ways which selectively distort and manipulate
public perceptions, creating a false picture of crime which promotes
stereotyping, bias, prejudice and gross oversimplification of the facts. Their
conclusion is that it is not just official statistics that misrepresent the
picture of crime, but that the media are also guilty of manipulation and
fuelling public fears.” Jewkes (2010)