Media and Fear of Crime Essay example

2050 Words Feb 24th, 2002 9 Pages
MEDIA AND FEAR OF CRIME

The mass media is a vehicle for delivering information and to entertain. But implications that the media do more harm than good concerning its practices and its effects on the public. The two main categories of mass media are print media and electronic media. Although they overlap in some areas, they differ mostly in the subject matter they cover and in their delivery methods. Research had been conducted in using both these forms to gauge the impact that each one has on the public. Print media tends to be more factual based whereas electronic media tend to focus more on visual aids to help relay the information. The public's fear of crime has an impact on the public agenda of policy makers. Fear of crime not only
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Moreover, the bullet-riddled cover illustrations, blood-red headlines, and photographs of sneering killers in handcuffs and memorials to dead children simply overwhelmed the whiffs of truths and context (1998, 22)".

There is also a notable affect on the subject matter that is reported in print media. In a study conducted by Heath (1984), reported that newspaper crime news affects readers' fear of crime differently depending on how the crime news is reported (Surette, 93). Results indicate that reports of local crimes that were sensational or random were associated with higher levels of fear of crime, whereas reports of nonlocal random or sensational crimes were associated with lower levels of fear of crime (Heath, 1996). This effect can be measured against the recent events that occurred on September 11, 2001. Although we are saddened by the tragic events, there is a sense of relief that it happened in a different country. Canadians are aware but still more mindful of what is happening in their own communities, than distracted by possible cases of Anthrax in their mail. This research suggests that newspaper exposure tends to be associated with beliefs about the distribution and frequency of crime (Surette, 93).

ELECTRONIC MEDIA
"If it bleeds, it leads," the famed broadcast euphemism, is more accurate than ever (Krajicek, 27). In the 1970s television overtook newspapers as the medium that supplies the majority of Americans with