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SOSC 2652 Chapter Notes -Road Rage, Carjacking

Social Science
Course Code
SOSC 2652
Anna Pratt

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Nov 14 Funhouse mirror
There are many public misperceptions about crime
The public believe that crime rate is going up, the justice system is lenient, and has
distorted views on imprisonment and parole rates
These misperceptions about crime and justice come from the media
News media reveals that crime- especially violent crime- is rampant and that we are all
at great risk of becoming the next victims in an unstoppable crime wave.
This is not the whole truth as violent crime does occur but not that often epsicially
relative to nonviolent property crimes.
Elements of newsworthiness
The factors that lead the media to consider a story newsworthy- novelty, immediacy,
personalization, dramatization, and titillation
Characteristics of the offense
To be worthy of coverage, a crime must meet a certain threshold of significance, and
violent crimes are the most likely to meet that threshold
Studies reveal that the media overemphasizes violent crime and underemphasizes
property crime
But not all violent crimes are equal: Murder the most serious and rarest of violent crime
is most likely to attract coverage and offences of a sexual nature also receive a
disproportionate amount of press attention
What is considered “new” crimes are also covered such as carjacking, and road rage
Characteristics of the offender
Although stats show that young low-income males are the majority of offenders news
reports overemphasize the crimes of older, well-to-do men
Given the novelty of female offenders, crimes committed by women tend to receive a
disproportionate amount of attention, particularly if the female offender is young and her
crime involves violence
Along with age, and sex social status if also important as crimes committed by
celebrities and politicians are over reported
Characteristics of the Victim
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