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How is crime portrayed in the media and why it matters

It is well known that the media likes to exaggerate many things in order to increase viewership and draw in attention from current viewers. This works in their favour as it brings in more viewers; however it can cause society to have a skewed and unrealistic view on crime, and cause adverse effects that ultimately are not helpful.

Crime is regularly reported on in the media, as it is something that people are always interested in, especially violent crime. However, the exaggeration and over reporting of violent crime can lead many in society to believe that the occurrence of such is a regular and widespread thing. This results in a large portion of the community in fear over being the victim of violent crime, whereas the likelihood of an event of that nature happening to them is slim. This has been observed in many western countries, with the fear of a terrorist attack being one of the biggest in America, whereas the chances of it happening are very slim compared to more common events such as car accidents.

Moreover, the over portrayal of crime can fuel prejudice against certain groups, as well as increased and over the top measures to fight crime which are completely unnecessary.

This results in many in the community imagining themselves being the victim of such a crime related scenario, which creates fear, prejudice and possibly more crime, where violence against certain groups increase. Systematic prejudices can also increase at the hands of law enforcement and other government agencies, creating more problems than solutions.

In conclusion, the media plays a huge part in how the world is seen by society, and the over portrayal of crime, especially violent crime, can result in fear mongering, prejudice and injustice.

Sean Hall
Sean Hall
Sean Hall is our law writer, and he’s been a conveyancing and family law lawyer for over 15 years. He’s adept at breaking down complicated legal jargon in layman’s terms so that his readers have a better grasp of the legal landscape, no matter what angle they approach it from.

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