Essay On Media Overdramatize Crime And Events

Essay on Media and Cultivation Theory

1020 Words5 Pages

In an ever-increasingly mediated society, mass media has become inseparable with the production of everyday life. Media is now a platform for members of society to connect with global events and other people beyond their own personal experience. For many, the media is a major source of information and “accounts of violence, as presented by the mass media, are the primary medium by which the average person comes to know crime and justice” (Barak, 1994). The following essay will explore the theories of both cultivation analysis, as established by George Gerbner, as well as agenda setting, reputable to Maxwell McCombs and Donald Shaw. These concepts will demonstrate how the recent Santa Barbara Shooting is a major media event that reflects a…show more content…

In an ever-increasingly mediated society, mass media has become inseparable with the production of everyday life. Media is now a platform for members of society to connect with global events and other people beyond their own personal experience. For many, the media is a major source of information and “accounts of violence, as presented by the mass media, are the primary medium by which the average person comes to know crime and justice” (Barak, 1994). The following essay will explore the theories of both cultivation analysis, as established by George Gerbner, as well as agenda setting, reputable to Maxwell McCombs and Donald Shaw. These concepts will demonstrate how the recent Santa Barbara Shooting is a major media event that reflects a familiar narrative through which social reality is shaped and social issues addressed.
Firstly, Cultivation theory suggests that heavy television exposure encourages a world of ideas that is consistent and biased toward reality, or what culture perceives as reality, as depicted in the media. While at first being used and depended on to draw a crowd, violence has since been practiced as an ongoing theme in many different forms of communication. Today, in a world where media content is saturated with violence, Gerbner’s theory explains why this has become such a recognised event. News on crime and violence is being used as a powerful tool for political discourse, strengthening existing sociocultural norms and fuelling the economic power of

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Media And Crime Essay

When it comes to reporting crime the media is confronted daily with decisions on how to present their stories, what to write and what not to write, of choosing to report the bad news, misquoting those they interview, and sensationalizing. People come to believe what they read and, in a sense, is irrelevant whether what they believe is true or not, for their ideas affect how they live their lives. They develop an exaggerated and distorted fear of crime from the media. For much of what we learn about the world comes from television, newspapers, magazines and so on. Crime is more than simply reported by the news; it is constructed, manipulated and distorted as well.

Crime, deviance, delinquency and other social problems have always been a staple of newspaper accounts, television news shows and crime dramas. Knowledge of these events is secondhand, filtered through the media graphically and textually, thus appearing immediate, shocking, entertaining and informative. In today's society the media has replaced firsthand experience as our source of information, opinion, and news about the world. The pervasiveness and assumed facticity of the news is rarely questioned, and sometimes it's a jolt to realize that memories of events can be created (Russell, 27).

The media can make it seem as if we are at the scene of the crime down the street or seeing events half a world away as in the Persian Gulf. The media can also make it seem possible to pass judgement on complicated issues arising such as, in the O.J. Simpson trail. They help create opinions on events never to be experienced firsthand on the basis of the evidence presented by people that we will never meet. This leads to viewers and readers accepting the secondhand nature of the news. Only when a source is misquoted or an issue receives inadequate coverage is the media questioned or criticized on how they do their job (Kesterton, 18).

The media does not merely report the news; they construct and assemble it. "The perception of crime "˜created' by the news media are organized"(Russell, 30). When reading or watching the news, people are getting reports about events in the world, built from the work of the reporters in the field, and influenced by the perspective of the editors who are anticipating the reactions of the consumers. The public is getting more than passively relayed social facts because the news actively creates impressions and opinions about the world. News of violent crimes in the media go hand in hand with law and order, discipline, danger, fear, and authority. These underlying themes implicitly define the boundaries of society and have an effect on how people think and live their lives (Beckton, 24).

The power of the media is evident in how it affects a whole range of attitudes about public and personal safety. Crime on television can influence the way people think about...

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