Is the Nature of Crime in Our Society Accurately Presented by the Media?

1697 Words Jun 25th, 2016 7 Pages
1. Is the nature of crime in our society accurately presented by the media? Discuss.

Like every society, Australia has always had its share of criminal activity, from the founding of our country as a penal colony in the 18th century, bushrangers in the 19th century, underworld violence in the 20th century to recent youth violence on our city streets in the 21st century. In this essay, I will be discussing how the media presents crime in Australian society and how this does not necessarily reflect crime statistics. The media presents us with the idea that the majority of crime in Australia is violent, and it is only getting worse. In contrast, statistics show that Australia’s crime rate has remained relatively steady. In fact, most
…show more content…
(Australian Institute of Criminology, 2009, p. 6) The media’s representation of a rapidly increasing violent crime rate is not supported by statistics which reflect that while the crime rate is rising, the rate is steady and it is believed that this number could even be fluctuated by the increase of victims reporting these types of crime to the police. According to the Australian Survey of Social Attitudes 2007, 74% of the respondents had quite a lot/a great deal of confidence in the police to solve crime. (Australian Institute of Criminology, 2007 p. 16-17) Although the statistics show the general trend of violent criminal offences is static, a significant proportion of our population still has the perception that our crime rates are increasing (Australian Institute of Criminology, 2010) due to media influence. Another way the media misrepresents Australia’s crime rate is by selectively reporting violent crimes whilst under reporting other offences, which are more prevalent in society.

Contrary to the perception of the majority of Australians, most reported crimes in Australia are in fact, not violent. The rate of incidence of violent crimes is considerably lower in comparison to property crimes and fraudulent activity. For example, personal and consumer fraud costs between $3 billion and $3.5 billion per year in Australia – which is roughly one third of all crime costs. (Australian Institute of Criminology, 1997, p. 2) The media