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Explain the relationship between the media and crime. Explain the relationship between the media and crime.

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litteacher8 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The media cherry-picks which crimes to report. Sometimes they want to scare people, because scared people watch. That means more ratings. The media also chooses to ignore some crimes that seem less interesting, even if they are important. The media does not only report what is in people's best interest.

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mwestwood eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The media does, indeed, cover up certain crimes.  One particularly heinous well-documented hate crime in which cannibalistic actions were among others was never reported on the mainstream media because it was a hate crime from the other side of the racial card, and it may have caused "a stir."  Like all news stories, crime is a selective choice for what sensationalism, political slant, or other strategy the people in charge wish.

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drrab eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I'm tending to lean toward response #6. The media as we understand it can manipulate the reporting of crime. That is, the media can put whatever spin on a crime story they want. Probably, I would eliminate the heinous crimes ala Ted Bundy, where the...

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lskonech | Student

It's a complicated one to be sure.

In today's media landscape, where information is instantly available and quickly consumed, news shows and websites need more and more stories to pull in viewers and attract attention.  Viewers have come to expect shocking stories and hearing about them does seem to appeal on some level to viewers.  Whether this curiosity about crime is fueled by violent movies and TV shows is something that is definitely hottly debated.  In either case, the stories about crime are the ones that draw in viewers.

On the more positive side, today's information access allows people to hear about important warnings more quickly and can bring in entire groups to provide information to police and investigators.  It also helps warn people of possible dangers in their neighborhood.

There's also the relationship that crime dramas have had on both newscasts and prosecution of crimes.  People have come to expect the exciting forensic discoveries and dramatic investigations they've seen on fiction TV shows.  Without evidence like what they see on CSI, it's possible that juries and even judges could be unable to be convinced about the guilt or innocence of a defendent.

The media also has an influence on the kinds of crimes that are committed.  Based on the crimes that media outlets choose to report and pay attention to, certain preconceptions about race, gender, and socio-economical status could be wrongly reinforced, creating a self-sustaining cycle of crime in certain environments.

In general, the media does thrive on reporting more and more violent crimes.  However, whether this is merely a reflection of our society or somehow the cause of its problems, or a combination of those two things, is definitely up for debate.  All in all, I'd say that it's a combination, that the media reinforces some dark part of our society that thrives on seeing crimes... but it is certainly not to blame.