Sensationalizing Criminal Activity in the Media

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The media constantly reports on criminal activity and crime as a whole within our community in which it has every right to do. However, the media often sensationalises crime in order to create ‘moral panic’ within the community, using it as a way to control how the public perceives current community issues. ‘Some people may be led to a “blind” acceptance of the “reality” of such presentations as constructed by the media’ (Crime and Justice, 2012, Pg. 63)

Because a majority of the public have minimal experience with the judicial system, public knowledge and views of law and the legal system are dependent on media representations (N. Marder, 2001). General observation can quickly identify that the media almost always presents a distorted view of the law. The relationship between law and media is very complex and constantly evolving, however, it is clear that relatively few of us have experienced first-hand the effects of serious criminal violence. (Crime and Justice, 2012)

Our understanding of crime is predominantly derived from media and not from objective data, such as real time crime statistics or victimisation surveys. This is very problematic to members of a jury as it can be assumed that the majority of a jury have a distorted view of reality as Jurors are drawn from the community at large, so it is only to be expected that jurors will reflect the general social outlook and values of their communities. (Jurors 24/7, 2014)

Greene (2014) wrote about how media
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