Media and Crime as a Social Problem in a Diverse Society

Subject: Entertainment & Media
Pages: 3
Words: 787
Reading time:
3 min
Study level: College


In recent decades the media and crime have become a social problem in the contemporary diverse society. Given this, it is well evident that the media is a contributor to the increased crime rates in society; since crime has always been a core aspect of the mass media business. In this case, crime has been featuring outstandingly in almost all the news offered to the public by the media. Based on this, it can be seen that crime and violence have been an important aspect to the media operators as a business; as it plays the role of giving ideas about criminal activities and crime consciousness (Kirsh, 2006).

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Main body

It can be argued that since people consider media as a reliable source of information in shaping their opinion about society; they form their attitude regarding the crime conditions in the society from what they get from the media. In support of this idea, Cohen S, in his book ‘Folk devils and moral panics’, argued that due to the prominent reporting of crime by media, society members have been troubled, police action increased and young people either, create or join existing gangs which have been made famous by the media (Cohen, 2003).

On the other hand it can be argued that, the media overstresses public fear concerning law and order which results in supportive oppressive solutions among the radicals and liberals, stimulating fears about crime in the society. It can be seen that, various violent programs presented on television attract youths who develop aggressive conduct against others; making them join existing gangs in the long run. In addition, the experience of pornographic materials over the internet has increased rape risks, sexually related crimes and family breakdown in society, as they have aroused sexual consciousness especially among the youths. In addition, racial and ethnic inequalities contribute to social problems in society with the minor race or ethnic group engaging in instances of crime than the major ones. In most cases, males more than females engage themselves in delinquency acts as they are the ones who severally watch violent movies and the television programs (Kendall, 2009)

Further it can be argued that the media dramatizes crime and exalts the law-breakers; unfolding in depth the place where crime was committed, its character, how it was executed and the resolutions were taken. This as a result propels the average law-abiding society members into these unlawful actions; as the media to some extent makes the criminals heroic. In addition, the media overlooks crime as far as susceptible minds are concerned as it exalts and puts daring law-breakers on the platforms; making it admirable (Jensen & Rojek, 1998)

Moreover, the internet has increasingly availed free information which in one way or the other has contributed to some instances of crime. An example here is the websites where specific procedures on how simple bombs are made, and how some sorts of poisons are bought are provided. In this case, crime rates are increased in the society as these bombs may be used to hurt if not kill members of society which amounts to crime (Jensen & Rojek, 1998).

As stated earlier, media violence manipulates society members’ behavior especially the youths. In this case, children and teenagers after being exposed to violent movies and images presented through the television; exhibit aggressive behaviors which lead to disagreements between them and the parents; hostility towards others and criminal behavior development (Kendall, 2009).

On the other hand the media helps to prevent crime in the society by creating social awareness, influencing policy-making; which helps in crime prevention especially towards women and children. In this case, the media reports varied cases of crime and violence; which makes the authorities in operation come up with measures of preventing it within society. In addition, the media opens a dialogue especially radios and televisions where society members can contribute to the measures of crime prevention. Based on the issues concerning sexual abuse, the media has helped provide alertness of issues concerning high-risk sexual conduct (Kirsh, 2006).

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In conclusion, even though the media helps in preventing crime by creating awareness on crime issues in society. Based on this, in one way or the other the media contribute to crime increase which becomes a problem in a diverse society; while on the other end helping dissolve the crime situation.


Cohen, S. (2002). Fork Devils and Moral Panics, second edition. Philadelphia: Routledge Press

Jensen, G. & Rojek, D. (1998). Delinquency and Youth Crime, Third edition. Illinois: Waveland Press

Kendall, D. (2009). Social Problems in a Diverse Society, 5th edition. Massachusetts: Allyn & Bacon Publishers

Kirsh, S. (2006). Children, Adolescents, and Media Violence: A Critical Look at the Research. London: Sage Publishers