Crime, new media and the internet
‘old’ media and CJ
Given the public‟s general lack of knowledge about criminal justice matters,
the media‟s tendency to cover newsworthy events (such as violent crimes or
serious offenders) means that news stories – selective or inaccurate as they
may be – are „vivid and salient‟, thus capturing people‟s attention and
enabling recall. Over a period of continual exposure to such coverage, people
may develop a distorted view of crime and justice. … Nevertheless, the link
between media coverage and public attitudes is not straightforward …
people‟s opinions are shaped by a variety of intrinsic and extrinsic factors and
mediated by a range of factors such as economic conditions, ideological
beliefs, and other psycho-social factors‟.
o Media plays an important role in shaping public attitiudes.
Decides what‟s going to be reported, what‟s most important,
o Our source of info about crime.
o Rise of infotainment and profound changes.
New/internet technologies and crime and CJ
Expansion of Information Communication Technologies have radically
transformed the impact of mass media and public communication.
o E.g. typewriters to computers.
Has radically altered the ways in which „private‟ information is shared,
controlled and compromised.
o Makes us more cautious.
o More common for fb sites to be checked for potential employment,
defendents in court, etc.
Has produced a range of criminality and regulatory issues for agents working
within the cjs.
o Contempt by facebook – the same as if you disrupt court proceedings
with shouting, etc.
o New offences, old laws being insufficient.
How is the internet being used by CJ stakeholders
o Help catch people.
o Increase in reality format e.g. crime stoppers.
o Websites dedicated to those problems to gather and disseminate info to
o Advertisements for recruitment.
o Legal info now available online more than ever.
o More access to legal databases.
o Using SM for evidence.
CJ policy community:
o Develop campaigns, etc.
o Tool for public education. o Tool for debate and discussion on particular issues.
The internet and knowledge of CJ
A department from the one-to-many broadcast model.
Rather the viewer, or reader, is now an actor that engages in not so much
production but “produsage”.
Rise of Citizen journalism.
o More user-generated content – makes debate about crime and the
media more coplex than they once were.
New development of user-generated content.
Rise of consumer as producer and social media (Facebook; YouTube,
MySpace, LinkedIn, Twitter etc.).
o More interactive and dynamic.
o Harder to figure out what we really think and therefore harder to be
accountable for knowledge.
An important debate regarding the internet with implications for criminal
justice revolves around online news and journalism eg. Blogging.
Increase in online risk
From harmful content or contact or conduct.
Risks may be sexual, aggressive, value-based or commercial forms of harm;
Children & teens most vulnerable.
Policy interventions emphasise „risk‟ & personal „respo