The CNN Effect: The Media and Crime Coverage

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The Media and Crime Coverage Introduction The manner in which mainstream media depicts various aspects of American life has a correspond effect on how these events are perceived by the American public. When isolated media events are sensationalized, these depictions can result in misperceptions and fear, especially when they involve issues that have personal implications for viewers such as crime. To gain some fresh insights into these issues, this paper examines how CNN covers crime in its productions such as "The Situation Room" with Wolf Blitzer as well as its other productions. A review of the relevant literature concerning these issues from a criminological perspective is followed by a summary of the research and important findings in the conclusion. Review and Analysis Across the board, major news networks exert an enormous amount of influence over public thought in the United States. Some major news networks, though, appear to exert more than their fair share of influence on American public thought. In fact, in what has been termed "the CNN effect," the ability of this news organization to influence public thought and even national lawmakers has become the source of growing concern by some observers (Robinson, 2002). According to Robinson, "The original CNN effect referred to the ubiquity of the channel (so that all sides were using the same information source and originated during the 1991 Gulf War. Since then the phrase has become the generic term for the
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