THE “MEDIA” EFFECT Our society today is littered with crime, whether it is violent street crime or white-collar crime. There are crimes committed everyday. Some crimes go unnoticed while others do not. Those criminals that are caught will be subject to the consequences of our justice system. Along with this justice comes media attention. Media attention would be any coverage or reports on a certain crime. This can range from newspaper articles to the local news channel doing an extensive investigation.
However, the media is very selective about what crimes they cover. I believe that media attention on particular crimes impacts our society’s criminal law in a big way. The media, for the most part, intends to portray crimes to the public so people can be educated. They want people in society to understand what is going on so they can take precautions and steps to be safer. Media is a large part of many people’s lives; they see it or hear it everyday. Newspapers are a popular and convenient source of delivering the daily news.
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In newspapers information is provided on all sorts of criminal activity. Also, many viewers frequently watch the news on television. Our news is saturated with the crimes committed everyday. The intentions of the media are positive, but quite often it is negative. The media is stuck on street crime. Very rarely is there coverage on crime in the corporate world for example. News reporters often have biased opinions on certain crimes making their reports more convincing toward a certain side.
With the focal point on violence in the community, society is becoming more worried and scared. This focus is skewing the view on crime rates. Everyone’s attention is on violent street crime such as murders, robberies, etc. Police and other law enforcement officers are also spending more time dealing with lower class crime rather than crime in the upper class. Although this media attention can negatively affect the criminal law, it is not all bad. It creates awareness, which is the first step in prevention.
The “Amber Alert” and “M. A. D. D. ” (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) are two excellent examples of positive media attention. These two media strategies have helped to educate our society. They have saved many lives and have helped to prevent future crimes. In conclusion, media attention is a fairly affective and beneficial tactic. With minor adjustments, such as covering a more broad range of crimes or having less biased opinions, the media could be good quality source of information.