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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 142023 Find in a Library
Journal: British Journal of Criminology  Volume:33  Issue:1  Dated:(Winter 1993)  Pages:33-56
Author(s): P Williams; J Dickinson
Date Published: 1993
Page Count: 24
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: The results of this survey indicate that British newspaper groups differ greatly in how they report crime news and that readership groups vary in terms of their fear of crime (FOC).
Abstract: The first part of the survey involved a quantitative analysis of major daily newspapers in Great Britain. The frequency and type of crime reports were measured to show how different newspapers varied in the attention paid to crime. A questionnaire was then administered to determine if readers of newspapers giving more attention to crime rated higher on cognitive, affective, and behavioral measures of FOC. Findings revealed consistent differences between newspapers. Newspapers classified as broadhseets carried proportionally fewer crime reports and reported crimes in a less sensational fashion than tabloids. On average, 12.7 percent of event-oriented news reports were about crime. Tabloids devoted most newshole space to crime. About 8 percent of event-oriented news stories reported personal violence crimes (PVC's), newspapers devoted about 64 percent of the space allocated to crime reporting to stories dealing with PVC's, and about 14 percent of front page space covered PVC's. Of 1,000 questionnaires distributed to assess FOC, 290 or 29 percent were returned. Respondents varied significantly in their assessment of victimization risk. With respect to walking alone and in the home at night, broadsheet readers felt most safe and low-market tabloid readers felt least safe. In general, newspaper readership was strongly related to feelings of personal safety. Appendixes contain the survey questionnaire and newspaper report examples. 43 references, 8 tables, and 4 figures
Main Term(s): Fear of crime
Index Term(s): Crime in foreign countries; Great Britain/United Kingdom; Media coverage; Victimization
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