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NCJ Number: 67342 Find in a Library
Title: PREVENTION AND MASS MEDIA? (FROM POLICE AND PREVENTION, P 171-178, 1976 - SEE NCJ-67327)
Author(s): G MAUZ
Date Published: 1976
Page Count: 8
Format: Document
Language: German
Country: West Germany (Former)
Annotation: EIGHT THESES REVEAL THE ROLE OF THE MASS MEDIA IN CRIME PREVENTION ACCORDING TO A WEST GERMAN JOURNALIST.
Abstract: FIRST, A DEFINITE SCIENTIFIC CONCLUSION AS TO THE CAUSES OF CRIME WILL NEVER BE REACHED, AND THE MASS MEDIA SHOULD REFLECT THIS. SECOND, THE TASK OF THE MEDIA IS NOT SO MUCH TO DEFEND THE CONSTITUTIONAL DEMOCRACY, BUT TO STRIVE FOR A MORE PERFECT REALIZATION OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL GUARANTEES. THIRD, A SOCIETY, IN A SENSE, IS IN NEED OF CRIMINALS TO PROVIDE A FOCAL POINT FOR COLLECTIVE AGGRESSIONS. FOURTH, THE MASS MEDIA SHOULD TAKE A CRITICAL ATTITUDE TOWARDS ALL POLICY DECISIONS (E.G., IN URBAN DEVELOPMENT OF SOCIAL REFORMS) WHICH MAY ENCOURAGE CRIME. FIFTH, THE MASS MEDIA MUST REFRAIN FROM PRESENTING AN OFFENDER AS GUILTY UNTIL HE HAS BEEN SENTENCED. SIXTH, THE MASS MEDIA MUST GUARD AGAINST PRESENTING A DISTORTED PICTURE OF CRIME TO THE POPULATION. SEVENTH, THE MASS MEDIA SHOULD TRY TO UNDERSTAND AN OFFENDER AND HIS MOTIVES WITHOUT, HOWEVER, EXCUSING HIM. EIGHTH, AND LAST, PREVENTION HAS LIMITS; FOR INSTANCE, PREVENTION THROUGH FINES (E.G., IN TRAFFIC LAW) BECOMES INEFFECTIVE AS SOON AS THE OFFENDER BECOMES TOO RICH TO CARE ABOUT THE FINANCIAL LOSS. THE MOST OBVIOUS PREVENTIVE ROLE OF THE MASS MEDIA IS ITS RESTRAINT IN THE PRESENTATION AND GLORIFICATION OF CRIME OR VIOLENCE. BUT THE MASS MEDIA ALSO HAVE A MORE GENERAL PREVENTIVE ROLE IN INFLUENCING THE PUBLIC'S ATTITUDES TOWARDS CRIMINALITY. THE PRESS CAN TRIGGER A CRIME HYSTERIA OR IT CAN URGE RESTRAINT AND REASON. THE MEDIA ARE UNDER NO OBLIGATION TO PRESENT THE POLICE IN EITHER A POSITIVE OR NEGATIVE MANNER, NOR SHOULD THE POLICE ATTEMPT TO MAKE A GOOD FIGURE IN THE EYES OF THE PRESS. THE MAIN TASK OF THE PRESS IS TO BE FAIR. --IN GERMAN. (SAJ)
Index Term(s): Crime prevention measures; Germany; Media coverage; Media support; Public Attitudes/Opinion
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