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Media And Homicide Victims Essay

591 words - 3 pages

In the criminal justice field, many studies are focused on the effects of media’s portrayal of crime. The definition of media has included TV news, TV dramas (Law and Order,NCIS, etc), and newspapers. Chiricos. Padgett, and Gertz (2011) and Romer, Hall Jamieson, and Aday (2003) included local versus national TV news watching in their study. Both studies found that increase in viewership of news media increased fear of crime. One found that local news had more of an influence on fear of crime than national news (Chiricos, Padgett, & Gertz, 2000).
The authors suggested that local news has a greater effect on the viewer than the national news because the stories are closer to home. It is far easier for the viewer to remove themselves from the story if it is farther from them. Romer, Hall Jamieson, and Aday (2003) found that local news coverage increased fear of crime in Philadelphia. The authors surmised that cultivation theory is one explanation. Television news media have economic incentives to show violent stories. The outlets keep their focus on crime because other interests are not presented well on television (Romer, Hall Jamieson, & Aday, 2003). The authors also suggested that not only do crime reports increase the fear of crime, but perceptions of where crime is located and who is perpetrating the crime (Romer, Hall Jamieson, & Aday, 2003).
It could be suggested that those who were sensitive to crime could be more sensitive to the stories on the news (Chiricos, Padgett, & Gertz, 2000); however, Romer et al (2003) found that this was not the case. Those who have been recent crime victims tend to a higher fear of crime (Chiricos, Eschholz, & Gertz, 1997). Additionally, those that lived in high crime areas had almost twice the fear level than those living in low crime areas. The local news only served to confirm...

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