AC 1.4- describe the media representation of crime

Describe media representation of crime


Newspapers write a large number of stories based on crime,particularly violent

crimes,terrorism and street crimes, with 43% of tabloid readers believing that violent crime

had risen significantly.This is due to newspapers over-reporting violent crimes while not

reporting other crimes such as vandalism, which reporters find necessary to do to keep

readers interested.An example of over-reporting a crime occurred during the Manchester

bombing attack,which left 210 injured and 22 dead.Invasive images were taken straight after

the crime happened of victims and published, which featured on front covers of newspapers

for 2 weeks, creating a moral panic amongst readers who feared the same would

happen.Newspapers also tend to exaggerate and sensationalise crimes, for example a story

on moped gangs claimed there had been 22,000 moped muggings in one year, with a prime

victim being celebrity Michael Mcintyre. The story was focused mainly on Mcintyres story,

sensationalising the article and bringing fear amongst people who became fearful that the

same would happen to them after the moped incident was described as an ‘epidemic’. The

crime does not happen as often as it is portrayed , and therefore the newspapers use

scaremonger to bring fear into people.Typically, unusual crimes get more coverage because

people are more interested in them,as do violent crimes; people are more likely to want to

hear about a terrorist attack than a backstreet vandalism.


In the 1950’s, one tenth of prime time television was devoted to crime, which has since risen

to one quarter of all tv shows.This includes a mix of fiction and non-fiction shows, most of

which focus on violent crimes.Non fiction shows are represented factually with little

exaggeration to demonstrate the seriousness of what has occured and to inform people of

the true facts.These shows are not glorified and reconstructions allow accurate images to be

formed.On the other hand,fiction shows tend to glamorise and glorify crime, showing a

luxurious lifestyle as the outcome of crime.They are often dramatised and embellished for

more views.Examples of non-fiction shows include Crimewatch,which accurately recounts

crime in an attempt for people to learn from their mistakes as well as educate people about

crime and policing methods. A fictional tv show based on crime is peaky blinders, where the

characters commit criminal acts in order to survive and have a nice life.


One fifth of all cinema films are crime movies and up to half have significant crime

content,according to Allen et al. Films often represent both factual,real life crimes and

fictional stories relating to crime.Examples of this can include the Wolf Of Wall Street where

white collar crime,moral crimes,and domestic abuse are all glorified and glamorized.Jason

Belfort, the leading criminal in the film, is shown having a multi-billion dollar business,driving

luxury cars, owning multiple mansions and yachts, which encourages the positive image of

crime and shows purely the benefits, as well as encouraging crimes that are both deviant

and criminal,such as drug use and prostitution.This is an example of film sensationalising

crime yet again.Although this may be a high profile example of crime in which it is very

unlikely to ever occur again, more common crimes have been portrayed in films,such as

Green Street hooligans, in which a group of West Ham fans participate in multiple crimes,

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