Media Reports and Social Cohesion

In a world where the media has become the front-runner in communicating every focus in the society, it is essential to scrutinize how crime as a theme has been reported to the public.Stories and news on various facets of criminology as a whole have been recounted over the news media, but how factual and justified have they been? Is there bias in regard to diverse factors in the society like social class, gender, power and wealth?

Well, the research attempts to grasp the above issues and more, and uncover the most conspicuous and glaring theses in the media domain. It further goes ahead to investigate on the effects of the media has had on creating fair trials and influencing decision-making in the criminal justice system.Moreover, it shall explore on the linkage between social grouping and crime.

So as to better focus on the expected themes, this research will employ various uncertainties. These uncertainties have triggered us into generating the following research questions.

  1. Research questions.

Which cultural and social ideas might have contributed to particular crimes being termed as criminal? As pertains to the media, this question focusses on the cultural norms and notions that have led to the severity of some crimes in their magnitude to be termed as criminal. As evidenced in the news presenting, certain crimes are regarded as criminal while others are ignored in this sphere. What is the social affiliation to this?

How are, evidence gathering and policing presented in regard to the media? Well, this question seeks to investigate on how well policing is taken into consideration when presenting certain people as criminals. Is evidence gathering adequately done to consider justice and does the media consider this while presenting such stories in the news?

Which magnitude of crime renders it newsworthy? The question itself is directly related to the first question in our research and looks for the various factors that build the practicability of a crime being mentioned in the news. What type of crimes in the past have been mentioned in the news more often and why.

Are descriptions of crime and punishment in the news sensitive in the modern world? The question pursues to study on the sensitivity and the degree of sensationalist of the nature of reporting of crime. Is there thoughtfulness or indifference in most media reporting?

Are all races and social classes well represented in news reporting? The question tries to find out if there lies discrimination as pertains to social stratification as well as gender. The issue under analysis is the fair representation of the various social groups. Here we will attempt to research on the portrayal of social equality in the society as a whole and consequently by the media.

Is crime both a social and legal conception? Well, this demand seeks to find factual information on the relationship between sociology and crime. Many people believe that crime is a product arising from legal justice system. However, in our research, we will fill this gap by providing true-life information from our references to well cater for the question.

Is the criminal justice system run in the interest of the media and the public in general? Even as the media continues to report and present the public in its news, does it make any difference? The question seeks to find if in any way, the media influences decision making and how trials and prosecutions are executed.

  • Annotated bibliography

Banakar, Resa (2009) “Law through Sociology’s Looking Glass: Conflict and Competition in Sociological Studies of Law” in “The new ISA handbook in contemporary international sociology: Conflict, Competition, and Cooperation”, Ann Denis, Devorah Kalekin-Fishman, eds., London: Sage.

The publication elucidates on our topic of interest by exploring more on the relationship between sociology and the law. As such, Banakar within the field of legal studies reveals more on the interaction of aspects of the society and the law itself. Here, social and cultural ideas with regard to criminology have been laidout. It therefore supports or research by attempting to explain the forces behind crimes and their magnitudes.

Reiner, R., Livingstone, S., Allen, J. (2003) From Law and Order to Lynch Mobs: Crime News

Since the Second World War” In P. Mason, (ed) Criminal Visions: Media

Representations of Crime and Justice, 13-32. Portland: Willan Publishing.

The article analyses the situation of the media’s reporting on crime news. It reflects on the clarity and biasness of the state of affairs of the subject. The authors go to the extent of qualitatively studying and making comparison between the cases, making it a very reliable reference for our research.

Schlesinger, P., Tumber, H. (1994) Reporting Crime: The Media Politics of Criminal Justice.

Oxford: Clarendon Press.

The article reviews the philosophies underlying crime reporting in the news. As pertains to our research, the reliability of this article in our research will go into questioning the media in the way it reports criminal news.

Singletary, M. W., Lipsky. R. (1977) Accuracy in local TV news. Journalism Quarterly, 54,


The article covers the reliability and the correctness of news reporting in topics relating to crime. It also caters in explaining the sensitivity in the reporting itself, consequently backing our research.

Surette, R. (1998) Media, Crime, and Criminal Justice. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

The article broadly covers issues pertaining the media and the criminal justice as a whole. Surette, the author, makes clear of the association between the media and the criminal justice system specifying previous cases that saw the crime happenings affected by media itself in the past. It therefore supports our research on the media’s influence in legal affairs.


Walby, Sylvia (March 2013). “Violence and society: Introduction to an emerging field of sociology”. Current Sociology, special issue: Violence and Society (Sage)

In this article, Walby illuminates on the connection between the crime and the society. Although subjected on crime, it supports our research by showing in what dimensions crime steps out of the boundaries of legal conceptions into the social realm.


Weiss, A., Chermak, S. M. (1998) The News Value of African American Victims: An

Examination of the Media’s Presentation of Homicide. Journal of Crime and Justice, 21,71-88.

Weiss, in this journal, goes ahead to tackle a scenario of racial representation in the media. It generally scrutinizes the fairness and justice in the media presentation of cases. Therefore, it supports our research in providing information on the facet of race and social representation.

Weitzer, R., Kubrin, C. E.. (2004) Breaking News: How Local TV and Real World Conditions

Affect Fear of Crime. Justice Quarterly, 21, 497-520.

Weitzer, in this journal, tries to show how the media affects the occurrence of crime. By presenting how scenarios of reporting alter decision-making in individuals, especially those intending to engage in crime, he gives us linkages between crime reporting and crime reduction. The journal as a result, supports our research by examining the severity of crimes and their outcomes.

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