The purpose of this essay is to look at how the media is a source of 'knowledge' to present crime and victimisation and how the media invokes 'moral panics' about crime and lawless behaviour. There are a number of individuals who think when a person commits a crime they are punished for that crime. However, there is more to crime than just punishment. The media plays an important role in the construction of crime and lawless behaviour. Society's perception of victims, criminals, deviants and punishment is influenced by their portrayal in the mass media. .
In his book, Marshall MacLuhan stated that " Everybody experiences far more than he understands. Yet it is experience, rather than understanding, that influences behaviour, especially in collective matters of media and technology, where the individual is almost inevitably unaware of their effects upon him", ( Mcluhan, Marshall; H.Lapham Lewis 1994). This is an all round example of the how the media impacts our perception of crime. Since we are unable to attend court cases and visit prison cells we rely on media as a source of knowledge. The amount of information displayed by the media has turned into a necessary source of information in our daily life. It is everywhere around us; in TV shows, on radio, in books, newspapers, magazines, internet, advertisements and almost everywhere. People are fed with information directly and indirectly at every minute of every day (Stepinska, Agnieszka, 2014).
It is important to understand how exactly the media is being used, since it can serve both in construction and destruction of the facts. The role of the media in presenting crime from early eras to the twenty first century has had its own significance. To determine this role, it is important to find out the definition from historians and practitioners. Critical attention to how crime is reported in the news is necessary given the way in which the media represent these events heavily influences our understanding of crime in society.