Chapter7.pdf CCJ 415 - 001
Popular in Prevention: Crime & Delnqncy
Popular in Criminology and Criminal Justice
This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Hertis Mcclanahan on Sunday March 6, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to CCJ 415 - 001 at Southern Illinois University Carbondale taught by Cindy L. Hart in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 66 views. For similar materials see Prevention: Crime & Delnqncy in Criminology and Criminal Justice at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
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Date Created: 03/06/16
Chapter 7: The Mass Media and Crime Prevention The Media and Crime o The Level of Reported Crime Crime stories comprise between roughly 5 percent and 30 percent of newspaper space Crime represents 10 percent of news stories and 13 to 18 percent of the broadcast time 20 to 40 percent of prime-time program focus on law enforcement and the criminal justice system o Media Accounts and Actual Crime Correspondence between the media portrayal of crime and the actual extent and types of criminal activity shows a great deal of divergence. o Media distorts the crime picture Focuses on selected types of crime Overemphasizes the level of crime Fails to provide accurate or complete information about criminal incidents o Does the Media Cause Crime and Fear? Qualified support for a connection between media presentations and viewer behavior Most studies find weak to moderate relationships between actual behavior and television accounts Excessive exposure to media violence can influence some viewers to be more aggressive o Media presentations may increase people’s fear Stories that place the offense in framework familiar to the reader have a greater impact than those more removed from the reader’s experiences Television and radio news is related to fear, while written news has less relationship with fear levels Mass Media Crime Prevention Activities The Mcgruff prevention campaign o Crime prevention coalition of America and the advertising council o “Taking a bite out of crime” program o Four basic objectives Alter the public’s feelings about crime and the criminal justice system Generate feelings of citizen responsibility for crime and crime prevention Enhance citizen cooperation with the criminal justice system Enhance existing crime prevention efforts o Public service announcements Feature a cartoon character known as “McGruff” (a dog in a trench coat) Presents simulated crimes and notes the proper actions viewers should take o Different themes or issues have appeared in the television, radio, and print announcements o Emphasis throughout the campaign is on individual and community ability to take action o First Evaluation o Survey of 1,200 adults from across the country 50 percent of the respondents saw the campaign announcements Only 3 percent of this figure were able to recall the advertisements without some prompting 90 percent of the respondents were able to describe specific suggestions made, and 22 percent learned something new More than 50 percent felt more responsible for crime prevention because of the advertisements, and 25 percent reported taking precautious o Panel survey Wide exposure to the campaign materials Level of interest in the materials was higher for those already concerned with crime and crime prevention Exposure to the advertisements had no impact on perceptions of neighborhood crime, perceived changes in the crime rate, or a sense of safety at night Exposure resulted in positive changes in crime prevention activities o Second evaluation Interviewing a national sample of adults, including law enforcement and media representatives 80% citizens reported seeing the announcements Media and law enforcement respondents noted that the materials were valuable o Need to find ways to reach vulnerable groups in society Other Campaigns o “Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving” public service announcement campaign Minimal impact based on self-report data o National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign More than 75% of teens are aware of the campaign Teens who are aware report significantly stronger anti-drug beliefs than those unware of the program o Inconsistent and weak results in some program evaluations suggest that the program may need to be better targeted. Crime Newsletters o Can be targeted to a more limited audience and tailored to the needs of those individuals o May provide detailed, in- depth discussions of both crime and potential crime prevention measures o More effective campaign relies on hand distribution of the newsletter o Education level influences the actual level of readership and the amount of impact o Need to tailor to the community Information Lines o Solicitation of information about specific crimes from the public o Most widely known program is Crime Stoppers Offers rewards to citizens for information about crimes Unsolved offenses Guaranteed anonymity for the information 1,193 programs around the world found in 24 countries o Police departments now post crime videos and information on unsolved crimes on the organization web-sites, YouTube, Facebook, and others asking for viewers to provide information Agencies can publicize events very quickly Many more videos and events can be posted compared to broadcast media Can reach entirely new audiences o No indication that programs like Crime Stoppers have reduced crime or the fear of crime Crime- Time Television o Focus on previously unsolved crimes in prime time o “ Americas most wanted”, “ Unsolved mysteries”, and “ Top cops” in the United States and “ Crimewatch U.K.” in the United Kingdom Re-enact serious crimes for which no offender has been apprehended Viewers prompted to call a toll- free telephone number to report any information they may have Claim to have resulted in many arrests Can potentially bias court cases and lead to appeals based on excessive pretrial publicity and the inability to seat an unbiased jury Viewers may generalize from the response being promoted in the program ( such as simply calling for help) to other possible responses not featured in the program- known as response generalization Publicity and Prevention o Smaller scale and targeted publicity about prevention programs and initiatives can have an impact on the success of crime prevention efforts o Publicity may reduce crime in and of itself Anticipatory benefit- changes in crime that predate the actual implementation of a crime prevention program A form of diffusion of benefits Several studies reveal evidence of anticipatory benefits stemming from publicity The Media’s Responsibility for Crime Prevention o Lavrakas (1997) The media must assume some of the blame for the continued failure of policies to deal with crime Media fails to critically assess claims regarding the efficacy of crime control policies Media should be critically questioning positions and challenging politicians to provide proof for their arguments Media rarely deals with the substantive merit of the various measurers being debated