skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 181811 Find in a Library
Title: Scooped! Media Miss Real Story on Crime While Chasing Sex, Sleaze, and Celebrities
Author(s): David J. Krajicek
Date Published: 1998
Page Count: 236
Sponsoring Agency: Columbia University Press
New York, NY 10025
Publication Number: ISBN 0-231-10292-5
Sale Source: Columbia University Press
562 W. 113th Street
New York, NY 10025
United States of America
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Book (Hardbound)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This book explores the impact of tabloid crime journalism as sleaze and violence have become obsessions for the press, the public, and politicians.
Abstract: It examines important questions about how and why certain crimes are reported, and the effect on crime policies and the criminal justice system. The author believes crime reporting by the media is held to a lower standard than other types of news. He traces the impact of tabloid journalism that spread with the appearance of the television program, "A Current Affair," in 1986. He indicates that, while journalists have increasingly focused on trivial sleaze, celebrity scandals, and gruesome but unrepresentative crimes, they have neglected a far more important crime story, the collapse of the criminal justice system as a cost-efficient and equitable deterrent. The author argues that crime trends and crime policies often have little to do with each other and the effect is that Americans are confused and frightened about crime. He shows how tabloid distractions draw journalists away from substantive reporting that could give a more accurate account of crime over the past decade. Instead, stories about a "society under siege" have led to panic about lawlessness and politicians have stepped in with the usual solutions of more arrests, more prisons, and longer sentences. Journalists are challenged to take responsibility for their work and to hold politicians accountable for legislation that does not work in dealing with crime. Notes
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Media coverage; Media-crime relationships; Public Opinion of Crime; Television programming
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.