The Media's Role in Society

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The media’s role in society is to inform people about everyday life through communications such as Television and newspapers. The information in which these communications display can be very diverse in their opinions about society, such as crime. This assignment will look in detail about the way in which media can influence public perceptions on crime and whether the information given is actually accurate in relation to official statistics specified by the government. This will include the analysis of crime stories from two different newspapers to learn the extent in which these newspapers portray different information about crime.

There have been many cases in history in which the media has controlled people’s views on society. For example Hitler was aware of the significance of good propaganda through media, in which he was able to take over power with the mass support of the people. The present day is the same. What people read in newspapers contributes to their views, such as crime, but realistically may not be true. For example the British Crime Survey asked respondents about their perceptions of how the level of crime was in the country as a whole. It showed that around “two-thirds (65%) of people thought crime in the country as a whole had increased in the previous two years, with a third (33%) of people believing that crime had risen ‘a lot’.” This shows that people have been influenced by the wrong information because the British Crime Statistics also shows that Crime in England and Wales has remained relatively stable in the past two years. This gives good evidence of how the media has influenced people’s perceptions on crime because for most people the media is the only source of information they obtain about crime.

The British Crime Survey gives statistics based on people’s experiences on crime. The current number of people surveyed is forty thousand per year, which obviously causes problems as the current population...
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