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How is the Criminal Justice System Portrayed in the Media?

Lorene MarkowitzJune 24, 2021

Through decades of research, there has been a lot said about the media’s portrayal of crime and justice in America. Here a question arise How is the Criminal Justice System Portrayed in the Media? With 10 major facts, you will get to understand how criminal justice is portrayed in media.

  1. Saturated—Media presentations are overflowing with stories about crime, criminals, and criminal victimization;
  2. Uncritical—The depiction of crime by the media relies heavily on police and criminal justice officials as primary sources, which makes them question our understanding of reality.
  3. Exaggerated—The media, intentionally or not, is exaggerating the seriousness and frequency of crime.
  4. Influential—Distorted representations of crime by the media shape public opinion and distort judgment about crimes, criminals, and appropriate responses to criminal behavior.
  5. Sensational—Distorted representations of crime by the media shape public opinion and distort judgment about crimes, criminals, and appropriate responses to criminal behavior.
  6. Ageist—Youths are depicted as criminals by the media at rates that far exceed their actual involvement in criminality. In fact, they commit about 10% of all crimes while being seen on TV 40-50%. 
  7. Racist—The media has been shown to over-represent people of color as criminals and criminal suspects.
  8. Victim Biased—Crime against whites are given more attention by the media than people of other color.
  9. Police Biased—Police officers are most often depicted by the media as white while criminals are depicted as people of color.
  10. Punitive—Exposure to crime news reports raises people’s concerns about crime, especially when the news is racist which leads to public support for punitive control measures.

I hope this article was helpful in understanding the criminal justice system portrayed in media. If you have any questions, you can contact us or mention them in the comment section below.

FAQ’s

How does violence in the media affect youth?

The vast majority of experimental, lab-based studies have shown that violent media exposure causes increased aggressive thoughts, angry feelings, and physiologic arousal. Violent media also decreases prosocial behavior (such as helping others) and empathy.

What are the effects of media?

In recent years, media has taken a more prominent role in shaping children's lives. Other forms of media have the potential to influence kids' eating habits, exercise habits, and buying tendencies as well as their mental health- if they are exposed without supervision by an adult.

Does media play a role in violence?

The notion that media violence can lead to an increase in real-world aggression and violence is not new. Research has shown us time and again, fictional television programs, as well as films, contribute to short-term increases in anger and long-term changes at the neural level.

How does the media glamorize violence?

Media can be glamorizing sexual assault and rewarding abusers. But directors are challenging this by uplifting survivors, calling out abuse - that's not the message we want to send!

How does violence in the media affect youth?

The vast majority of laboratory-based experimental studies show that violent media exposure causes increased aggressive thoughts, angry feelings, physiologic arousal and hostility.

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