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NCJ Number: 168081 Find in a Library
Title: Through the Looking Glass: Public Images of White Collar Crime (From Crime and the Media: The Post-Modern Spectacle, P 131-163, 1995, David Kidd-Hewitt and Richard Osborne, eds. -- See NCJ-168074)
Author(s): A E Stephenson-Burton
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 33
Sponsoring Agency: Pluto Press
London, N6 5AA, England
Sale Source: Pluto Press
345 Archway Rd
London, N6 5AA,
United Kingdom
Type: Issue Overview
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This paper reviews studies that have examined media coverage of white-collar crime in Great Britain, and considers some of the issues that impact the frequency and depth of such coverage.
Abstract: Studies of the media coverage of various types of crime have shown that white-collar crime is reported by the media, but the manner in which such coverage is given requires complex analyses of a number of issues. First, news of white-collar crime in British newspapers is most often in sections such as "Law," "Legal Affairs," "Business," "City," "Finance," "Finance and Economics," and/or "Government and Politics." Persons whose careers or interests are not in these areas may not read these sections regularly. The implicit assumption of editors who place white-collar crime in these sections of their newspapers is that most white-collar crime will be of interest to a certain type of reader, in certain professions, or with certain interests. Street crime, on the other hand, is seen to be of interest to the general public. Such editorial practices add not only to the myth of non-reporting of white-collar crime in the media, but expressly label white-collar crime as a special topic. Second, issues that make a white-collar crime case of interest to the media, and presumably the reading public, are the prominence of the alleged offender and the impact of the crime on the public. A third issue is the public's fascination with the events they most fear. Whereas, random, violent street crime is what the public most fears, white-collar crime is not feared by most people. Other issues discussed in this paper are the special knowledge and skills required of a journalist who reports on white-collar crime, skills and knowledge not possessed by most journalists; and the tendency of public agencies of communication to avoid delving into the worlds of the powerful and influential, given the risk that the media may become involved in costly litigation; this gives powerful white-collar criminals the ability to block or discourage media coverage of their questionable activities. 53 notes and a 52-item bibliography
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Media coverage; Media-crime relationships; White collar crime; White collar offenders
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