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Lecture 49

JOUR 601 Lecture 49: Crime in Colorado

Course Code
JOUR 601
Robin Blom

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Crime in Colorado
The building block of the theories themselves can be explained through agenda setting.
Agenda setting can connect theory building by analyzing how the theories have been built over
To start, we will look at Crime in Colorado newspapers.
The paper explains the outcome of research very well and gives us good results on how agenda
setting is measured. Another reason is because it is one of the first empirical tests of agenda
setting, even though the term agenda setting was coined 20 years later.
So this paper was concerned about the crime news and coverage of crime. What we would
expect is that the crime rates reflect the amount of attention in crime news.
The idea is that if crime rates go up, you would expect that crime news would increase as well
and vice versa.
But the argument was made in H1 that there is no relationship between changes in crime rates
and amount of crime news.
H1: there is no consistent relationship between the amount of crime news in Colorado
newspapers and the state of crime rates.
This hypothesis focuses on the idea of gatekeeping. The gatekeepers make decisions on news
coverage, but the change in crime rate may not be one of them.
There is also an interest in how the public estimates the crime rates in the second hypothesis.
H2: public opinion about Colorado crime trends reflect trends in the amount of newspaper
coverage rather than in actual Colorado crime rates.
This second hypothesis focuses more on agenda setting.
A third hypothesis is in here says that crime rates don’t predict estimates, no relationship
between these two variables.
It was found that the crime rates went up slightly in this time period and declined a little bit in
the end.
But, those percentages didn’t really reflect the coverage in media.
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