Crime and the Media seem to go hand in hand since this is how most of us hear about crime throughout the nation, and even the world. Whether it be through the news or paper, or even the internet, people are tuned in every minute of the day to find out exactly what is going around us, and how it will affect ourselves and our families. Research indicates that a majority of public knowledge about crime and justice is derived from the media (Roberts and Doob). Understanding just how much the media plays in the role of portraying crime and justice in our communities is important for us to know.
There are many factors that are relayed before a crime story is reported to us on television or radio, or the internet. One is being Newsworthiness. Newsworthiness has two factors which they base the story on before airing. One is, Periodicity: time cycle of events. The second is, Consonance: how an event ties in with prior news's themes and accepted images. Both these meaning, is this story coinciding in with any other events going on in our lives. For example, Brazil is fingerprinting and doing background checks on anyone entering their country coming from the United States of America. This is in retaliation to our for our increased security checks due to the attacks of September 11, 2001. This news story coincides with all the news coverage currently going on in our world. This therefore makes this story newsworthy to the public.
Another factor, probably the most important to the News Stations, would be the ratings it receives from the stories it reports. Some say that ratings show that more and more people are tuned into violence and crime stories then any other type of media available. According to the results done in a study by the National Opinion on Crime and Justice System, due to media coverage, people have more fear based on sexual assault, getting mugged, beaten up, knifed, or shot, and being burglarized while home.