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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 114918 Find in a Library
Title: Media Effects on Attitudes to Crime
Corporate Author: Sydney University
Law School
Institute of Criminology
Date Published: 1987
Page Count: 90
Sponsoring Agency: Sydney University
Sydney, Australia
Type: Conference Material
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: Three studies examine media treatment of crime and criminals and suggest how those in the legal and criminal justice systems can help to avoid distorted representations of crime in the media.
Abstract: The first study examined by the seminar points out how the media's need to be interesting and entertaining results in the distortion of the facts of a crime. Those in legal and law enforcement positions can insist that reporters learn the skills of investigative reporting and be well grounded in what constitutes contempt and defamation. The second study looks at political engineering that led to the media's fascination in New South Wales, Australia with child abuse reporting. The study contends that in the 1970's and 1980's facts about child abuse were distorted by the media in New South Wales. The third study points out that the media has a role in identifying and defining crime and its moral consequences for young people. The mass media should socialize the young; it cannot be selective but must denounce all crime that injures people or harms property. The media must focus not on evil people, but on the evil that crime creates. Several commentators respond to the ideas presented in the three seminar papers. A transcript of a discussion among the three authors and other participants is also included.
Main Term(s): Media coverage
Index Term(s): Australia; Media-crime relationships; Public Opinion of Crime
Note: Proceedings of a Seminar No. 72
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