Especially, the newspapers and the television news programs determine that crime is primary source of news media. People watch television news or read newspapers because they have more concern about the crimes happening in their societies. Because of this, media or news channels focus on the various ways to represent their material and find different kinds of crime stories. As well as, crime news are also a way of entertainment, most of time people use to view crime news on television and on social sites they use to follow various news channels where they get updates. Sometimes, public use internet to browse crime stories and read crime novels.
Moreover, Erich Goode and Nachman Ben-Yehuda (1994) set some theories and features to differentiate between legitimate social problems of people concern and moral panics stirred up by moral entrepreneurs and the media. According to Erich Goode and Nachman Ben-Yehuda, moral panic is characterized by five features as follows:-
1. Concern: A “heightened level of concern” about any problem is often spread by involvement of media, action groups or legislative initiatives.
2. Hostility: An “increased level of hostility” toward the enemy or the target group is harmful or threatening to the values, beliefs and morals to the normal society. If anyone has peak level of hostility it is always harmful for the person as well as the society which increase the violence among the society.
3. Consensus: consensus is some sort of agreement that all are agree for that thing. For instance if a group is going to movie first they have to reach consensus or agreement for movie. As well as, society members should have some sort of ‘consensus’ among the society that any threat which is occurred by wrong intention is real and serious. And society should take steps toward it.
4. Volatility: Volatility is like any problem suddenly come one day and be a huge problem and even no one can find the solution. But, after some time it disappear without any reason and valid explanation that why it come and become a big problem and one day it vanish and no longer a problem from next day.
5. Disproportionality: the concern level disproportionate to the actual seriousness of the threat; the level of concern is not common, and there is no evidence or little evidence of a real threat.
Erich Goode and Nachman Ben-Yehuda also proposed three theories to explain why moral panics derived:-
1. Grassroots Theory: – This theory suggests that the moral panic starts with the public concern about the problem which is real or imagined and also the politicians and media involvement in response to the public concern. In the grassroots model most of the supporters would acknowledge that involvement of the media public and politicians is important in order for moral panic to complete development.
2. Elite-engineered theory: – This theory suggests that to make the small and powerful groups which consciously set out to divert the common people attention away from the genuine reasons of the social problems which are occurring in the society. Because, the solutions of that problems negatively impact on the interest of elite class group. Also, Goode and Ben-Yehuda point to hall 1978 released book “policing the Crisis” as an instance of this theory, Where wealthy and elite class British society use the media and law enforcement to make fear around the public about non-existence increase in strikes.
3. Interest group theory: – this theory suggests that the interest groups such as religious organizations, politicians, professional groups, and media may act independently rather than communicating one another. However the moral panic by these interest groups are self-serving, and all are genuinely believe that they are best interests in the society and each and every person should follow their interest.
Goode and Ben-Yehuda concluded that these three theories are required if anybody want to understand the moral panic.
Moreover, media always represent youth offenders as “dangerous others” who are violent and they easily go toward crime and do not think about the results of their actions. This is mostly led by violence in the movies and the games which make their mind very aggressive and dangerous to others. Further, female offenders are seen as particularly upsetting and they are more horrible. Women offenders are harsher and they are basically constructed as offenders.
Crime media is established for reflecting the social values. As media influence how we think about the offenders that they are very harsh and aggressive also it influence us to think about the victims. As Dowler, Fleming, and muzzatti (2006). Write, “If it bleeds it leads” but it depends that who is bleeding this statement is not fully truthful.
The “ideal victim” concept was established by Norwegian criminologist Nils Christie (1986). According to Christie, an ideal victim is a victim or the category of individuals who give a complete legitimate status of being victim. There are some of them who deserves more as victim status then others. In media, the ideal victim intersect with religion, gender, age, and other social characteristics. Furthermore, the representation of victims are is affected by racism, ageism, islamophobia, ableism, homophobia and misogyny. In addition, the victims who are characterized as deviant they are constructed as less ideal. They also constructed as “less innocent” then the other victims.
Importantly, race and gender are two major components of media of victims. For instance, in a crime story always a minority offender will be a racist and on the same time the victims of crime which are racial minorities are ignored.
In conclusion, I would like to draw the curtain by saying that the crime media plays a vital role in today’s world which gives full fledge information about the crimes happening in society. However, the stories which are represented by media are not only to attract more and more viewers there is lot more then that. Basically it is the way in which we get the collective meaning of crimes, police, authority, government, victims, offenders and laws. Moreover, it is also a way to find out who is in our side, which person is act as man in middle and which person is on the other side. So, the students who are studying criminology need to approach the media representations so that they can have better understanding about crime and media involvement in crimes and also answers to their questions.
Media And Crime Essay
When it comes to reporting crime the media is confronted daily with decisions on how to present their stories, what to write and what not to write, of choosing to report the bad news, misquoting those they interview, and sensationalizing. People come to believe what they read and, in a sense, is irrelevant whether what they believe is true or not, for their ideas affect how they live their lives. They develop an exaggerated and distorted fear of crime from the media. For much of what we learn about the world comes from television, newspapers, magazines and so on. Crime is more than simply reported by the news; it is constructed, manipulated and distorted as well.
Crime, deviance, delinquency and other social problems have always been a staple of newspaper accounts, television news shows and crime dramas. Knowledge of these events is secondhand, filtered through the media graphically and textually, thus appearing immediate, shocking, entertaining and informative. In today's society the media has replaced firsthand experience as our source of information, opinion, and news about the world. The pervasiveness and assumed facticity of the news is rarely questioned, and sometimes it's a jolt to realize that memories of events can be created (Russell, 27).
The media can make it seem as if we are at the scene of the crime down the street or seeing events half a world away as in the Persian Gulf. The media can also make it seem possible to pass judgement on complicated issues arising such as, in the O.J. Simpson trail. They help create opinions on events never to be experienced firsthand on the basis of the evidence presented by people that we will never meet. This leads to viewers and readers accepting the secondhand nature of the news. Only when a source is misquoted or an issue receives inadequate coverage is the media questioned or criticized on how they do their job (Kesterton, 18).
The media does not merely report the news; they construct and assemble it. "The perception of crime "˜created' by the news media are organized"(Russell, 30). When reading or watching the news, people are getting reports about events in the world, built from the work of the reporters in the field, and influenced by the perspective of the editors who are anticipating the reactions of the consumers. The public is getting more than passively relayed social facts because the news actively creates impressions and opinions about the world. News of violent crimes in the media go hand in hand with law and order, discipline, danger, fear, and authority. These underlying themes implicitly define the boundaries of society and have an effect on how people think and live their lives (Beckton, 24).
The power of the media is evident in how it affects a whole range of attitudes about public and personal safety. Crime on television can influence the way people think about...
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