Media Reflection Paper

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Media Reflection Paper

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Media Portrayal and the Public Perception of Crime - Fact or Fiction?3

Portrayal of Traffic Violations4

An Issue: Yellow Justice4



Media Reflection Paper


The media plays a very important role in the entire criminal justice system. Most people go through their life having little or none direct contact with any law enforcement personnel, but they still think they have a genuine understanding of which the police are what they are about. They get this idea from what they see and here through the media, so it is crucial for law enforcement to have good, solid relations with all media outlets. "Media Power" represents the extent to which individuals or groups influence the content of media messages relevant to their interests. As mass media are the primary image builders in contemporary society, an ability to shape the contents of media has become central to impression management and public relations (Rosenstiel, 2002).

Media Portrayal and the Public Perception of Crime - Fact or Fiction?

Commentators have suggested that the mismatch between the public perception of crime and the reality of the situation is largely due to the influence of the media, and that the fear thereby created is often capitalized upon by politicians. Rutenberg & Carter (2001) claimed that the media (particularly the Evening Herald) were spurred on by commercial incentives to ensure that an atmosphere of fear about crime was created and maintained. They emphasized that there was no malicious intent in this procedure; merely the company was trying to market its product as best it could. They also suggested that electoral incentives may exist for political forces in maintaining public anxiety about law and order. O'Hullachain (2006) has suggested that notable changes have come about in journalistic style in recent years and that, nowadays there is an absence of any reticence in divulging all the disturbing details of any particular event. Gibson (2011) reported that “The doctrine of the undiluted authority of the bishop, combined with the hierarchy's track record as a group of crisis managers concerned with protecting the institution, may be the central problem for the bishops revealed by the sex abuse crisis”. He also considers that the fact that USA with a lot of media, may lead to a situation where the coverage of certain events is disproportionate and therefore makes their occurrence appear more significant and, indeed, more frequent.

Portrayal of Traffic Violations

Today, although less common of an offense, bigamy remains a crime punishable by imprisonment. In contrast, minor traffic infractions are treated far more leniently today than during the early years of this century. A cursory look at media portrayal of traffic crimes reveals how the criminal justice system attempted to cope with a dramatic technological innovation that held both promise and peril. Because automobiles in 1905 remained little more than toys for the wealthy, media reports of traffic crimes and their prosecution expose the particular class tensions inherent in the industrial age. Furthermore, Tyler (2011) portrays that “the absence of an apology can lead to ...
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