Discuss the ways in which reporting can effect audience's perceptions of crime and criminal justice using examples. .
Crime reporting comes in various forms, but comes mainly in print and broadcast media. Nowadays, we can add the internet, facebook and all other forms of interactive communication technologies. They all play a critical role in shaping public perception of crime and criminal justice. Stenson and Croall (2001) analysis of the media 's role is that "it can shape and reflect our deepest fears about crime and insecurity." I will start by looking at the various models by which we are being fed information and how we perceive them.
• Although the mass media may communicate the same message to large numbers of people, it should not be assumed that the message is interpreted in the same way by those receiving it. This is reflected by the two-step flow model. The message conveyed reaches the audience, the audience in turn interprets it any which way they want and this may or may not influence them. .
• The hypodermic model assumes that media messages are injected directly into audiences as if by a syringe acting like a drug, directly allegedly, changing behaviour. .
• The interpretative model is more individualistic. Audiences are not homogeneous. The audience filters the media messages ignoring, rejecting or accepting them. This is similar to the structured interpretation model. The audience can take or leave any message. .
It is what is reported and how its reported that would make a difference to people's perception bearing in mind that most people have not being victims of crime themselves and all they know about crime is based on hearsay. Reporting has the ability to reconstruct events and this can effect its audience's perception through any of the models above. Broadcast media can bring the audience live images unfiltered, thereby adding drama and immediacy to the news.