The Media are Responsible for Shaping People’s Attitudes and Perceptions of Crime

The view of the public regarding victims, criminals, deviants, and law enforcement officials is hugely decided by their representation in the mass media. Furthermore, studies suggest that a huge part of public knowledge about crime and justice is derived from the media (Graber 1980). The media has a powerful impact on the general depiction of crime in society. The pictures that spread through public consciousness of crime are hugely generated by, and mirrored in the electronic and print media. In this way, the media have a strong influence with regard to how crime is commonly defined in society.Violent events obtain a wide area of coverage and the public is surrounded 24/7 by news accounts of specific details. It is nearly similar to the media communicating that the more violent, the better. Today, it is not sufficient anymore to report on a missing child. Media now report on what state they are in when they are found and what was done to them.In fact, research studies find that mass media was credited with supplying ninety-five percent of the information the public obtains regarding crime (Gunter 1987). A couple of questions emerge when the public thinks about these issues. What is the general influence of the media upon reality? Does the mass media imitate reality?These questions come up often when the discussion turns to descriptions of crime and violence in the media. For instance, is media violence only an illustration of the actual violence that exists in our society or does it help to legalize and promote more violence? The media, specifically the news media, defends itself from the charge of encouraging violence by emphasizing that they are merely depicting what is actually happening (Surette 1998). Real people are murdered every day. On the other hand, establishments that produce fictionalized views of violence (such as movies or novels and comics) lean on the argument that what they are producing should not be taken literally.Nevertheless, we cannot discount the fact that media establishments are inclined to overemphasize violence when they find it because they believe violence sells.