Is the Nature of Crime in Our Society Accurately Presented by the Media?

1690 words 7 pages
1. Is the nature of crime in our society accurately presented by the media? Discuss.

Like every society, Australia has always had its share of criminal activity, from the founding of our country as a penal colony in the 18th century, bushrangers in the 19th century, underworld violence in the 20th century to recent youth violence on our city streets in the 21st century. In this essay, I will be discussing how the media presents crime in Australian society and how this does not necessarily reflect crime statistics. The media presents us with the idea that the majority of crime in Australia is violent, and it is only getting worse. In contrast, statistics show that Australia’s crime rate has remained relatively steady. In fact, most
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It would be beneficial to the public to have more media coverage of fraud activities to make the public aware of particular risks they may be taking and taking preventative measures instead of being concerned about violent crimes that they are highly unlikely to be vulnerable to. The more exposure of fraud and property offences is more likely to reduce and prevent occurrences of this type of crime. Given the over representation of violent crimes in the media, it is not surprising that we are exposed to an inundation of coverage of particular types of violent crime.

The media tends to disproportionally cover crimes involving young, white females rather than males, or females of different race or an older age. The victims in these cases usually encompass the western opinion of beauty, making the stories appealing to the public and easy to sell. This phenomenon, coined “Missing White Woman Syndrome” (Yvonne Jewkes, 2004, p. 52–53.) has been seen in such cases as Britt Lapthorne’s murder while backpacking in Croatia and Natalee Hollaway’s disappearance in Aruba during a school trip. Both these cases involved young, white, attractive women. Another instance of the “Missing White Woman Syndrome” while not actually involving a missing persons case was that of Schapelle Corby who was convicted of smuggling 4.2 kilograms of marijuana into Indonesia. The media circus surrounding her arrest, trial and prison ordeal was in stark


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