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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 164535 Find in a Library
Title: Mass-Mediated Regimes of Truth: Race, Gender, and Class in Crime "News" Thematics (From Race, Gender, and Class in Criminology: The Intersection, P 105-123, 1996, Martin D Schwartz and Dragan Milovanovic, eds. -- See NCJ-164529)
Author(s): G Barak
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 19
Sponsoring Agency: Garland Publishing, Inc.
New York, NY 10003-3304
Sale Source: Garland Publishing, Inc.
19 Union Square
West Floor 8
New York, NY 10003-3304
United States of America
Type: Research (Theoretical)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This chapter examines how the news media construct and reconstruct criminal events and the implications for race, gender, and class of media crime coverage.
Abstract: The discussion focuses on three themes of the crime news business that have evolved in the United States during the 20th century: the predator criminal as a media icon, the depiction of sexually violent crimes against women, and the portrayals of high- profile police-citizen encounters. The media, in all its varied forms, projects the predator criminal or horrendous crime as the norm, when nothing could be further from the truth. At the same time, it is implied that some kind of inter-narrative discourse between the criminal predator as a media icon and the more sensational "crime wave" portrayals of, for example, serial killers or homicidal pedophiles, exists. News coverage of sex crimes against women typically presents one of two images of the victim: either as a wanton female who provoked the assailant with her sexuality or as a pure and innocent victim attacked by monsters. Either way these narratives are destructive to the victims of rape and to public understanding of the subject. In police-citizen encounters, the news media typically portray the police as defenders of public safety and as representatives of and executors of justice. On the other hand, when events such as the Rodney King beating are covered, the media generalizes to portray police forces as oppressors of minorities. Criminologists must interact with the media to provide guidance on providing a more accurate and realistic coverage of crime and crime-control operations in American society. Only then will the public be exposed to all of the ramifications of how race, class, and gender intersect in the area of crime. 20 references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Class comparisons; Gender issues; Media coverage; Race-crime relationships
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