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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 120133 Find in a Library
Title: Media Trials
Journal: Journal of Criminal Justice  Volume:17  Issue:4  Dated:(1989)  Pages:293-308
Author(s): R Surette
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 16
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses the phenomenon of "media trials" in the United States and reports a test of a typology of these trials. Media trials are defined as regional or national news "events" in which the criminal justice system is co-opted by the media as a source of high drama and entertainment. They involve cases with characteristics similar to criminal cases portrayed in the entertainment mass media -- human interest laced with mystery, sex, bizarre circumstances, and famous or powerful people. This article argues that media trials center on three themes -- "abuse of power and trust," "sinful rich," and "evil strangers" -- and that media trials have a significant social importance and impact. 26 notes, 3 tables, appendix, 45 references. (Author abstract)
Main Term(s): Media coverage
Index Term(s): Media-crime relationships; Psychological research
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