The Introduction Mediais a way to report of a particular topic through a variety of ways whichinclude TV, newspapers, radio, internet and within this report I will focus onthe media and crime. I look to explore the relationship between the media andcrime. As it is known media is assessable 24/7 which can be great because it isimportant for the population to know of the problems that is occurring aroundthe world. However, I believe it hides much more disadvantages then what goodit does for us.
“The word ‘crime’ generally evokes images of murder, rape, drugabuse, drug trafficking, terrorism, aggravated assault, aggravated burglary, armedrobbery, arson, theft or similar dramatic acts.” It will include an in-depthreport of the media portrayal of the police, and the prisons I will relate eachone back to how each of them could be a subject of newsworthiness. I will thengo on to talk about the moral panics and use examples like Stan Cohen. I believethe most important part of this report will be the discussion of newsworthinessand news values, I will talk about 3 famous structures of what should beconsidered when it comes to writing a news report, these come from Galtung andRuge, Chibnall and Jewkes.
The final part of the report will talk about thefictional representation of media, I will use fictional examples such asnovels, TV programmes and films. Media Portrayal Ibelieve that the media can play a big part in the portrayal of many matters,these include the police and the prisons. The Police Thefirst and most important one is the media portrayal of the police, this isbecause the police play a big part to the media but also us the population. SirRobert Mark, commissioner of the metropolitan police states “that the policeand media relationship could be compared to ‘an enduring, if not ecstaticallyhappy marriage” (2007: 259, p.
130) while Reiner (2017, p.130) say’s “therelationship between the police and media as one of the ‘mutual dependence andreciprocal reinforcement'” Two different perspectives from two different people,both relate to each other because they’re saying the media and the police donot have the best of relationships. It seems strange to me that therelationship between the media and the police isn’t all that good because thepolice can be helpful when it comes to providing statements for the media tothen release a news report. Over time the relationship between the media andthe police has become worse this is down to the development of technology.
Dueto the 24/7 availability of news it means the police are an important source tothese news stories which can be accessed frequently. I feel that the fictionalpresentation of police dramas has acted a big part in the media portrayal ofthe police this is because coppers are seen to be harsh on victims when they aren’tnecessarily in factual. Jewkes (2004, p. 147) said “The police are by far themost widely covered profession on television in both factual and fictionalrepresentations” I’m a strong believer of what Jewkes says because it is trueyou see the police on television for example being factual but you also see afictional side to the police and just because they are both the police it shouldn’tbe compared. The Prisons Thefinal media portrayal I am going to report is the prisons, this is because theprisons are seen to be a subject of question.
The questions that are being askedare what is prison life like, do you spend 24/7 of your time locked up in acell? So many questions could be asked. Harding, J. Davies, P. Mair, G. (2017,p. 139) said that “Ratherthan emphasising punishment, prisons can be portrayed as easy-going and evenprivileged places.
” Whereas Harding,J. Davies, P. Mair, G.
(2017, p. 139) also stated “Unsurprisingly, the media coverage will almost inevitablyhighlight the more extreme aspects of prison life, such as riots or deaths inprison.” Both two different ways the prisons are portrayed and these are bothincluded when it comes to media coverage. Saying that prisons are an easy-goingplace to live in is seen to be newsworthiness and an exciting subject to talkabout. But publishing about the extreme aspects prison life is likely to receivemuch more interest.
Again, both perspectives are newsworthiness which onlyseems to be the main subject when prisons are portrayed by media and this iswhat I am. Moral Panics Mediaare the key aspect to what creates moral panic, it usually happens when a largegroup of people become subject to the fear due to a news reporting but also becauseof the heading. I say the heading because its seen by people first, and you’lloften find people won’t read further into the article or news report. Therefore,news journalists like to put a dramatic and eye-catching title which entices thereader in. However, it can cause some issues because people could miss-interpretwhat it actually being said. You’ll also find journalist like to beover-dramatic when it comes to writing a title in the aim for people to readthe article but again this can cause moral panic. Stan Cohen (1972, p.
251)) asociologist and criminologist talks about characterize of social reaction theseinclude “youth, sex, drugs, juvenile crime, single parents, child abuse diseasesof humankind and animals (such as HIV/AIDS, as well as BSE or ‘mad cow’ disease”Stan Cohen write a book called ‘Folk Devils and Moral Panic” which discussed ofthe various stages of what is seen to be a social reaction. Newsworthiness and NewsValues Newsvalues are general procedures which are followed by media outlets, journalistsetc. It is important to consider the factors when it comes to writing a newsreport because it must be seen as newsworthiness. I am going to discuss threefamous sociologicalaccounts of ‘news values’.
Galtung and Ruge (1965) Thefirst is from Galtung and Ruge (1965) factors to how news should beconstructed, these include 12 ‘news values’ which are frequency, threshold, unambiguity,meaningfulness, consonance, unexpectedness, continuity, composition, elitenations, elite people, personalisation and negativity. Chibnall (1977) Thesecond is Chibnall (1977) guide on what he believes should be accounted forwhen writing a news report, these include 8 ‘news values’ which are immediacy, dramatization,personalisation, simplification, titillation, conventionalism, structuredaccess and novelty. Jewkes (2014) Thethird is Jewkes (2004) structure to how news should be shaped, these include 12’news values’ which are threshold, predictability, simplification,individualism, risk, sex, celebrity or high-status persons, proximity,violence, spectacle or graphic imagery, children, conservative ideology andpolitical diversion. Thereason I have listed these three sociological accounts of ‘news values’ isbecause each have a different perspective from a different decade of time, I thinkthis is an important factor to consider due to the develop of how news ispresented to the world today.
If you compare news from 1965 to today, myinstant thoughts are before the 90s the internet didn’t exist whereas today itcan be accessed and used by more than 50% of the world’s population, thisstatistic is a growing number is never likely to decline. Overtime ‘news values’have changed and this is down to how the news stories were presented. For example,in the 1960s the most common way for a news story to be publicised was throughtelevision and newspapers. News stories through TV tended to be vague and straightto the point where as newspapers went into depth of the story and included alot more information. Now we look at the media today, it is still publicisedthrough television and newspapers but the internet is the main source of news. Theaccess of news has changed dramatically due to the creation of the internetmeans people can view the most recent news stories. Newspapers are stillprinted and purchased in local shops but they have become popular throughonline newspaper websites, for example the guardian. According to Case, S.
etal. (2017, p. 170) “The perceived attraction of particular stories toparticular readers or viewers is often a guiding factor in whether or not theyare reported” News values play an important role to the structure of a newsstory because the more news values a story conforms to, the more likely it isto be considered and seen as ‘newsworthy’.
If a story isn’t seen to be as ‘newsworthy’then it won’t be viewed as much nor will it be interesting. McLaughlin andMuncie (2006, p. 83) stated “News stories about crime, deviance and punishmentare ubiquitous in modern society. Quite simply, crime is newsworthy.
But crimenews follows markedly different patterns to both the ‘reality’ of crime and itsrepresentation in official statistics, and is frequently said to be ‘manufactured’along ideological” Fictional Representationof Crime Ibelieve fiction representation of is an important subject to talk about becauseit includes television programmes, films, novels which all source from ageneral knowledge of crime, a lot of the idea comes from examples of crime. Themajority of fictional crime focusses on the police and the ‘cop’, however when youcompare the made-up scenario to real life I don’t think it does any good. Forexample, in fictional novels police are seen to be heartless and not as successas to a real-life copper.
Popular fictional police programmes include the bill,law and order, criminal minds etc. I could write a long list of examples butmore of less they all include the same type of setting; the police officer andthe criminal. Another fictional type to consider which can include a lot ofcrime is soap opera’s, which will often include large and lengthily scenesrelating to major crimes. You’ll often find when a soap opera plans out a crimethey’ll leave each episode on a cliff hanger this is done on purpose to enticeback the view. In reality, the population love a drama and I guess that’s whysoap opera’s area a big part of television and have been since the 1960s. Reiner(2007a) stated “A quarter and a third of total paperback output is a thrillerof one kind or another and crime fiction dominates popular best-sellers.
” Mandel(1984) carried out a study that between ‘1945 and 1984 there was over 10billion crime thrillers showing and sold’ and ‘25% of all TV and 20% of films hadsome sort of criminal activity’ These statistics show just how big thefictional representation of crime really is and how much money can be made frompretend crime. However, it can do more bad then what good it does, such as makinga police related fiction can make the population view the police from the fictionalrepresentation rather than actual fact. Obviously, all fictions are made up andthis is what can be the problem, I feel like people can relate far too much tothe made-up scenario rather than the real-life scenario. The fiction novels,films, television programmes can almost change the way people look at thepolice for example. Conclusion Finally,I would like to bring this report to an end and summarise what I havediscussed. As we can see both the police and prisons are main focus of media portrayalwhich isn’t always good, I believe the police are portrayed the worst and I thinkthis is shouldn’t be the case because at the end of the day this is all down tothe media wanted to make money and not looking at what it does to the policeforce and its officers. Media are to blame when it comes to moral panic, theyaim to put out dramatic, eye catching titles to create discussion and panicwith the population.
News values are an important aspect to what’s included inthe news and we can see from three different theories all have a similar idea,but each of from different decades. Finally, the fictional representation of crimeisn’t all that good, because it puts an idea into people’s mind and makes themlook at the police for example to be different to factual.