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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 134977 Find in a Library
Title: Media Politics of Crime and Criminal Justice
Journal: British Journal of Sociology  Volume:42  Issue:3  Dated:(September 1991)  Pages:397-420
Author(s): P Schlesinger; H Tumber; G Murdock
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 24
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This study examines how the British national news media cover crime and criminal justice.
Abstract: During 1986-88, interviews were conducted with a range of news sources in the crime and criminal justice fields so as to determine how news sources might pursue strategies to influence what the media report. The study also examined the social organization of specialist reporting and program development. Based on a sample of 2 weeks of national press and prime-time television coverage, the content analysis explored patterns of coverage across the national media. In a limited way, the study investigated patterns of audience consumption for different types of television programs that deal with crime and criminal justice. The study proposes a break with "media-centric" (focus on the media itself rather than media sources) approaches to the study of media coverage. This would be replaced by a focus on the strategies with the media pursued by sources in the crime and criminal justice fields. This strategy would be attentive to such factors as the relative institutionalization of social actors and their use of available resources. Recent developments in crime, legal affairs, and home affairs reporting are the background for a discussion of the specialist organization of press journalism and television coverage. A discussion of media content highlights pertinent differences within and between television broadcasting and the press. There are also observations on the relations between patterns of media consumption and fear of crime in sections of the television audience. The study argues for more connections between bodies of existing work in media sociology, political science, and criminology. 4 tables and 31 notes
Main Term(s): Media coverage
Index Term(s): Foreign policies; Media-crime relationships; Political influences
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