The of the report will talk about the fictional

The Introduction


is a way to report of a particular topic through a variety of ways which
include TV, newspapers, radio, internet and within this report I will focus on
the media and crime. I look to explore the relationship between the media and
crime. As it is known media is assessable 24/7 which can be great because it is
important for the population to know of the problems that is occurring around
the world. However, I believe it hides much more disadvantages then what good
it does for us. “The word ‘crime’ generally evokes images of murder, rape, drug
abuse, drug trafficking, terrorism, aggravated assault, aggravated burglary, armed
robbery, arson, theft or similar dramatic acts.” It will include an in-depth
report of the media portrayal of the police, and the prisons I will relate each
one back to how each of them could be a subject of newsworthiness. I will then
go on to talk about the moral panics and use examples like Stan Cohen. I believe
the most important part of this report will be the discussion of newsworthiness
and news values, I will talk about 3 famous structures of what should be
considered when it comes to writing a news report, these come from Galtung and
Ruge, Chibnall and Jewkes. The final part of the report will talk about the
fictional representation of media, I will use fictional examples such as
novels, TV programmes and films.  

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Media Portrayal


believe that the media can play a big part in the portrayal of many matters,
these include the police and the prisons.


The Police


first and most important one is the media portrayal of the police, this is
because the police play a big part to the media but also us the population. Sir
Robert Mark, commissioner of the metropolitan police states “that the police
and media relationship could be compared to ‘an enduring, if not ecstatically
happy marriage” (2007: 259, p. 130) while Reiner (2017, p.130) say’s “the
relationship between the police and media as one of the ‘mutual dependence and
reciprocal reinforcement'” Two different perspectives from two different people,
both relate to each other because they’re saying the media and the police do
not have the best of relationships. It seems strange to me that the
relationship between the media and the police isn’t all that good because the
police can be helpful when it comes to providing statements for the media to
then release a news report. Over time the relationship between the media and
the police has become worse this is down to the development of technology. Due
to the 24/7 availability of news it means the police are an important source to
these news stories which can be accessed frequently. I feel that the fictional
presentation of police dramas has acted a big part in the media portrayal of
the police this is because coppers are seen to be harsh on victims when they aren’t
necessarily in factual. Jewkes (2004, p. 147) said “The police are by far the
most widely covered profession on television in both factual and fictional
representations” I’m a strong believer of what Jewkes says because it is true
you see the police on television for example being factual but you also see a
fictional side to the police and just because they are both the police it shouldn’t
be compared.


The Prisons


final media portrayal I am going to report is the prisons, this is because the
prisons are seen to be a subject of question. The questions that are being asked
are what is prison life like, do you spend 24/7 of your time locked up in a
cell? So many questions could be asked. Harding, J. Davies, P. Mair, G. (2017,
p. 139) said that “Rather
than emphasising punishment, prisons can be portrayed as easy-going and even
privileged places.” Whereas Harding,
J. Davies, P. Mair, G. (2017, p. 139) also stated “Unsurprisingly, the media coverage will almost inevitably
highlight the more extreme aspects of prison life, such as riots or deaths in
prison.” Both two different ways the prisons are portrayed and these are both
included when it comes to media coverage. Saying that prisons are an easy-going
place to live in is seen to be newsworthiness and an exciting subject to talk
about. But publishing about the extreme aspects prison life is likely to receive
much more interest. Again, both perspectives are newsworthiness which only
seems to be the main subject when prisons are portrayed by media and this is
what I am.

Moral Panics


are the key aspect to what creates moral panic, it usually happens when a large
group of people become subject to the fear due to a news reporting but also because
of the heading. I say the heading because its seen by people first, and you’ll
often 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 the
reader in. However, it can cause some issues because people could miss-interpret
what it actually being said. You’ll also find journalist like to be
over-dramatic when it comes to writing a title in the aim for people to read
the article but again this can cause moral panic. Stan Cohen (1972, p. 251)) a
sociologist and criminologist talks about characterize of social reaction these
include “youth, sex, drugs, juvenile crime, single parents, child abuse diseases
of 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 of
the various stages of what is seen to be a social reaction.


Newsworthiness and News


values are general procedures which are followed by media outlets, journalists
etc. It is important to consider the factors when it comes to writing a news
report because it must be seen as newsworthiness. I am going to discuss three

accounts of ‘news values’.


Galtung and Ruge (1965)


first is from Galtung and Ruge (1965) factors to how news should be
constructed, these include 12 ‘news values’ which are frequency, threshold, unambiguity,
meaningfulness, consonance, unexpectedness, continuity, composition, elite
nations, elite people, personalisation and negativity.


Chibnall (1977)


second is Chibnall (1977) guide on what he believes should be accounted for
when writing a news report, these include 8 ‘news values’ which are immediacy, dramatization,
personalisation, simplification, titillation, conventionalism, structured
access and novelty.


Jewkes (2014)


third 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 and
political diversion.


reason I have listed these three sociological accounts of ‘news values’ is
because each have a different perspective from a different decade of time, I think
this is an important factor to consider due to the develop of how news is
presented to the world today. If you compare news from 1965 to today, my
instant thoughts are before the 90s the internet didn’t exist whereas today it
can be accessed and used by more than 50% of the world’s population, this
statistic 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 through
television and newspapers. News stories through TV tended to be vague and straight
to the point where as newspapers went into depth of the story and included a
lot more information. Now we look at the media today, it is still publicised
through television and newspapers but the internet is the main source of news. The
access of news has changed dramatically due to the creation of the internet
means people can view the most recent news stories. Newspapers are still
printed and purchased in local shops but they have become popular through
online newspaper websites, for example the guardian. According to Case, S. et
al. (2017, p. 170) “The perceived attraction of particular stories to
particular readers or viewers is often a guiding factor in whether or not they
are reported” News values play an important role to the structure of a news
story because the more news values a story conforms to, the more likely it is
to 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 and
Muncie (2006, p. 83) stated “News stories about crime, deviance and punishment
are ubiquitous in modern society. Quite simply, crime is newsworthy. But crime
news follows markedly different patterns to both the ‘reality’ of crime and its
representation in official statistics, and is frequently said to be ‘manufactured’
along ideological”



Fictional Representation
of Crime


believe fiction representation of is an important subject to talk about because
it includes television programmes, films, novels which all source from a
general knowledge of crime, a lot of the idea comes from examples of crime. The
majority of fictional crime focusses on the police and the ‘cop’, however when you
compare the made-up scenario to real life I don’t think it does any good. For
example, in fictional novels police are seen to be heartless and not as success
as 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 but
more of less they all include the same type of setting; the police officer and
the criminal. Another fictional type to consider which can include a lot of
crime is soap opera’s, which will often include large and lengthily scenes
relating to major crimes. You’ll often find when a soap opera plans out a crime
they’ll leave each episode on a cliff hanger this is done on purpose to entice
back the view. In reality, the population love a drama and I guess that’s why
soap 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 thriller
of 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 10
billion crime thrillers showing and sold’ and ‘25% of all TV and 20% of films had
some sort of criminal activity’ These statistics show just how big the
fictional representation of crime really is and how much money can be made from
pretend crime. However, it can do more bad then what good it does, such as making
a police related fiction can make the population view the police from the fictional
representation rather than actual fact. Obviously, all fictions are made up and
this is what can be the problem, I feel like people can relate far too much to
the made-up scenario rather than the real-life scenario. The fiction novels,
films, television programmes can almost change the way people look at the
police for example.   




I would like to bring this report to an end and summarise what I have
discussed. As we can see both the police and prisons are main focus of media portrayal
which isn’t always good, I believe the police are portrayed the worst and I think
this is shouldn’t be the case because at the end of the day this is all down to
the media wanted to make money and not looking at what it does to the police
force and its officers. Media are to blame when it comes to moral panic, they
aim to put out dramatic, eye catching titles to create discussion and panic
with the population. News values are an important aspect to what’s included in
the 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 crime
isn’t all that good, because it puts an idea into people’s mind and makes them
look at the police for example to be different to factual.