Discuss the Influence of Press and Media in Shaping the Public's Fear About Crime. Use Examples from Recent Press and Media Coverage of Crime to Illustrate Your Answer.

1861 WordsMar 12, 20138 Pages
Discuss the influence of press and media in shaping the public's fear about crime. Use examples from recent press and media coverage of crime to illustrate your answer. An area that has caused much debate in criminology is the significance of the media and the effect is has on fear of crime. Fear of crime is very difficult to measure as there are different types of fear and also different levels of fear but it is believed that the press and media can influence an individual to think that they are more likely to become a victim of crime. In today's society with the development of technology and the fact that information is so readily available, more people are now aware of the amount of crime that occurs. The question is, are we…show more content…
It is believed that women and elderly people are the most fearful of crime. Women could spend more time in the home if they don't work and if they look after young children and elderly people are more likely to spend time inside due to lack of mobility. It is interesting that they have the most fear as statistically they are the least likely to be a victim of crime and actually young males are the most likely to be victims - especially of violent crime. Well known research into this is the "cultivation analysis" of Gerbner et al., which is presented in Hales "Criminology", in the eighth chapter that deals with understanding the connections between crime and the media. Gerbner, over several decades, carried out survey questionnaires and content analysis to find out the influence of violence of prime-time US television programmes. Gerbner deemed those who watched more than 4 hours of TV a day to be "heavy" television viewers and found that they had a higher fear of crime as television portrays the world as "scary". There is also a difference between the way stories are reported in newspapers. A tabloid will generally have an over representation of violent crime if compared to broadsheet papers. In 2003, broadsheet newspaper, The Guardian, published a story titled, “Tabloids ‘stoke’ fear of crime”. In this article official Home Office statistics were quoted and 16% of those who read tabloid papers were “very worried” about being the victim of a mugging compared to

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