Public’s View of Crime and Criminality

Subject: Law
Pages: 4
Words: 1173
Reading time:
5 min
Study level: College


The advancement of technology has resulted in the emergence of different methods for people worldwide to consume media. Whether written, aired, marketed, or shared, media outlets serve as conduits for social interaction. For some individuals, printed daily newspapers and publications serve as information on events occurring locally, nationally, and nationally. Some people depend on television and social networking sites for news and information, while others use media for fun. Regardless of how media is received, it can shape public perceptions about crime, racism, fear of crime, and how people feel about themselves, people, and the world.

The media sets the agenda for crime and deviance. The media sets the agenda for what people think about. The media plainly cannot cover every illegal or deviant conduct. Therefore they must be extremely selective in what they publish or overlook. Everyone knows that the media sets the agenda for discussion and opinion formation. In turn, people’s views of crime in society are impacted by what media employees decide to include or exclude. Whether these perceptions are genuine or not, media coverage heavily impacts public perceptions of crime.

Crime-themed media continues to grow in popularity, and when consumed in large quantities, crime-themed television media has the potential to impact the attitudes of its viewers. Injustice, prejudices, preexisting bias, or social movements all occur due to the media’s impact on crime, racism, and fear of crime. In Maple Batalia’s case, the same incident is reported with a lot of bias and different statements in the two articles meant to report the same incident.

The Way the Crime Is Portrayed in Each Article

The first article characterizes crime as drug-related behavior. In general, the article considers drug trafficking as that of the nation’s most significant organized criminal issues. It is the primary source of revenue for organized crime, and its detrimental effects on residents’ physical and social well-being are widespread. It relates Maple Batalia’s murder with drug trafficking and supports its statement with no consistent evidence(Greco & Janus, 2011).

The second article relates Maple Batalia’s murder as that of unknown cause and relates it with homicides. Twenty-five police are dedicated to the investigation, with several of them spending Wednesday digging around the loading dock for clues. In addition, police dogs are sent in to hunt for clues and evidence(CBC News, 2011). These are reports by the media of the same incidence but reported differently, hence giving the reader very different takes.

The Ways the Articles Differ

The first article reports the crime as a murder that resulted in a deal gone wrong in drug trafficking and further contradicts itself by stating that “Whatever she touched she turned into gold, she was that type of child. If she was my daughter, I would be extremely, extremely proud of her,”(Greco & Janus, 2011). These two statements are contradictory and show how the media is unreliable in the information it passes across. In the context of crime, these news events must be regarded as substantial or spectacular enough to warrant coverage – a simple homicide may allow the actual newspaper. However, a serial murderer may become a national issue, as with Maple Batalia’s murder.

While the investigative process has advanced in many basic ways, it appears to have remained largely unaffected by considerable changes in police, the crime issue, and technology advancements over the last three decades. “The girl’s father, Harkirat Batalia, said his daughter had gone to school for a late-night study session with her friends” (Greco & Janus, 2011). In general, we believe that development in police criminal investigative efforts continues to be substantially disconnected from larger police efforts to react more effectively, efficiently, and decisively to the crime issue in general.

Crime becomes noteworthy when it is depicted as severe, random, and unexpected enough to create a moral panic in which the audience fears being a victim. For example, the ‘war on terror first led many people to believe that everyone in the United Kingdom was in danger. Events, particularly violent ones accompanied by a video, CCTV, or cell phone recordings, are more newsworthy because they allow the media to present viewers with a physical and dramatic effect. The second article does not mention drugs but rather does not specify the cause of death but rather enlists it as a homicide of unknown cause, leaving the reader puzzled. When multiple robustness tests are performed, readers discover that negative crime news has a greater influence on crime perception per cm2 than good crime news. This indicates a significant imbalance in the way individuals modify their expectations.

To counterbalance an increase in criminal perception caused by a specific number of negative information spread by the media, it is necessary to quadruple the quantity of negative information spread by the media in a positive tone. “That is the point where this guy came out, approached, pulled out his gun,” he said. “I am worried for my family. God should have taken me.”Batalia said his daughter would be remembered fondly by those who knew her well. This sheds light on several of the factors that contribute to the perception gap’s existence and, more crucially, persistence” (CBC News, 2011).

There is an issue with how civilization may be impacted by exposure to pictures of crime, racism, and crime in general. The way the media portrays who commits crimes, how crimes have been committed, and how offenders are dealt with through the criminal justice has a huge influence on how society views crime, ethnicity, and fear of crime. Media representations of crime and the administration of both the United States legal system can influence their consumers, whether true or false.

Discussion Regarding the Impact of Different Portrayals of Crimes in the Media

Media depictions of a crime substantially influence how society views crime, racism, or fear of crime. Individual and ingroup/outgroup attitudes may be influenced by crime-related media consumption. The expanding world of technical improvement within the media has aided in creating and expanding more social change concerned with problems of crime, racism, and fear of violence, hence increasing the media’s ability to favorably or adversely affect society.

Investigating the effects of crime-related media may result in social change by promoting improved community policing, cultural acceptability, and criminal justice system transparency. A clearer picture of the magnitude of domestic terrorism might help policymakers. Executive branch agencies should provide yearly data on domestic terrorism convictions, identifying persons and movements.

Congress may also require an annual public report detailing the number of domestic terrorist plots foiled, attacks investigated, and the federal, regional, and local authorities engaged. In the absence of such data, policymakers cannot compare the degree of domestic terrorism to other domestic dangers like homegrown violent jihadists. It might also assist policymakers in evaluating the government’s reaction to domestic terrorism. It may also help policymakers assess different domestic terrorism threats. It may assist allocate resources to particular government counterterrorism activities, such as preventing radicalization and violent extremism. Finally, without clear public knowledge of the domestic terrorism danger, it may be impossible to assess government financing.


CBC News. (2011). Student killed in SFU’s Surrey parkade. Parents Struggle to Comprehend Loss.

Greco, V., & Janus, A. (2011). SFU student, the actress shot to death in B.C. parking garage.