Media and crime.
Media controls peopleperception on crime as they can control what people hear about the crime committed.It is quite frequently argued that the media exaggerates the seriousness ofcrime in Britain. The media, especially newspaper create a false and sometimesharmful stereotypes for the public to read. They can create fear about certaincrimes and change how we look at crimes. For example, we use to live in an ‘innocentuntil proven guilty’ time but in the last 10-20 years it is completely differentwe now live in a ‘guilty until proven innocent’ time.
This theory is heighteneddepending on the social aspect of the accused. If they are a celebrity, themedia blows all allegations up, and ruin the reputations of the celebrity. “The public’s knowledgeof crime is primarily derived from its depiction in the media. The mediaaffects the public’s opinion of crime and punishment, and its perception of thepolice. If the media is responsible for the headlines, the conclusion is thatit influences the public’s attitude regarding crime incidents.” (Muraskinand Domash 2007).
The majority of the publicfind out about crime and crime statistic through media. “Even though you canfind out about crimes through gov.org and other such websites it is easier andmore commonly to hear of crime through media, such as social media websites.The responsibility of giving the public the outline of the crime and theaccused and the victims falls in the social media.” (Joe Palmer 2017). When themedia, (For Example: BBC news) release statistic about crime they cannot liebecause the number do not lie and is what it is, whereas if they are giveninformation about the crime committed they can twist or manipulate theinformation in favour of the biased party, they can do this to boost theirrating and to stir up speculations. A big crime portrayedwrongfully or maliciously is to do with child related crime or paedophiliabecause it is a brake of innocence, because children are considered as naïve andsweet, when a crime is committed against a child they are seen as worse thansay a murderer, this is due to the crime against children is more relatable asmore people have children so can see the innocent and naiveites is more taboo.
Professionals such as policefeel that media heightens the fear of crime. Especially with recent events thatare happening across the world including the United Kingdom, which is terrorcrime. Media doesn’t just raise the fear of terror crime but all crimes as theycover crime twenty-four hours a day, which increases peoples fear of crime asthey become more aware of the crime happening around them. PC Marshall DeBeersaid: “Not everybody is a burglar, but you still lock your door at night.” Thismeans that in his mind he feels that people fear that their house/living arrangementsare at a treat, this is due to the media, how they portray burglar, weather insocial media, newspapers on even on TV adverts.The media has a big responsibilityfor 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 bethreatening, for example, teenagers who hang around McDonalds, smoking, beingload and in a big group are portrayed as ‘yobs’ or delinquents, teenagers whoare going to be unruly and being aggressive when pushed, this creates fear inthe public especially to those who are ages fifty plus.
(Baumer 1985). “Numerouswriters have examined the proposition that the media present crime stories(both factual and fictional) in ways which selectively distort and manipulatepublic perceptions, creating a false picture of crime which promotesstereotyping, bias, prejudice and gross oversimplification of the facts. Theirconclusion is that it is not just official statistics that misrepresent thepicture of crime, but that the media are also guilty of manipulation andfuelling public fears.” Jewkes (2010)