Crime and the Media

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The mass media is often consumed throughout daily life and has arguably become the primary source of news, entertainment and information in modern societies. For many individuals, the media acts as a reliable source of information regarding events that may directly or indirectly shape their views, beliefs, and knowledge about the world in which they live. With a substantial rate of consumption as well as increased access to a wide range of news beyond more traditional sources, such as the radio and newspaper, there is a constant battle to uncover topics that will interest and attract a broad range of consumers. Among these topics is crime news, occupying at least 25 percent of all available news space (Sacco & Kennedy, 2011). After examining the concepts that arise between Chermak’s article and Sacco and Kennedy in ‘The Criminal Event’, it seems as though Chermak’s findings emphasize criminality representation that involves a larger number of victims. Contrary to Chermak’s findings, Sacco and Kennedy state that the best predictor for how much attention a crime story will receive is based on the type of offense. Evidently, there may be numerous factors affecting the presentation of a crime story in the media and a single variable has not yet been decided upon in regards to which stories will receive the most attention.

As Chermak states in his article, an extensive amount of research has been conducted in an attempt to understand which crime stories are seen as significant; ultimately deciding which get attention in the media and which do not. Various research studies have concluded that the crimes seen as top priority in regards to media reporting are those of a serious personal nature; especially murder crimes while white-collar and property crimes are not presented nearly as often, (Chermak, 1998). Another aspect of crime that has been analyzed includes victim and offender characteristics. It is hypothesized by Chermak that these factors play an important...
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