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Crime is a term used to refer to the breach of some rules that a governing body sets. After the commission of a crime, an individual can be convicted by this governing body. There are many ways in which crime can be dealt with. The media is one toll that can be effective in fighting against crime. This stems from the fact that media’s main function is the dissemination of information. In the pursuit to disseminate this information, people involved in the media engage in many forms of research. Therefore, if they are ready to fight crime, media can be the best tool for dealing with crime. Media people can offer vital information to the relevant authorities by airing out their findings. However, this depends on many factors, which are eleborated in this essay. Moreover, if not used efficiently, media can be a sole cause of criminal activities in a country.
People in the society consume news every day from various sources. These sources include radio, television, news papers, and many more. This news is portrayed by the broadcasting corporations in different ways. Portrayals of crime have an impact on the news and, consequently, on people consuming them. Therefore, media organizations are a worth subject of discussion when it comes to the topic of crimes. In particular, the media covers the largest population compared to other forms of communication. Once a crime is broadcasted on the television, millions of people access the news immediately (Park 2000). Therefore, negative impact from the media could have a detrimental effect on a country. It could lead to the increase in the average number of crimes that occur per unit time (e.g. year, month, day). Therefore, media should be kept in check by the leaders, governments, international bodies, and the public view.
Media stations have the right to present news about crimes. However, they present the news in a way that creates moral panic. Moral panic causes exaggeration of events and, in turn, scares the public. When crimes have happened in an area, the media presents them in a way that triggers a response. The side that feels affected is triggered to engage in crime. For example, there was a recent case where the former president of Iraq, Saddam Hussein was executed by the Iraqi government. There was a media worker who took a video of his execution. Later this video was made available to the public. This president was a ruthless dictator. He killed thousands of people during his reign. Obviously, Saddam Hussein had followers. These were people who shared his values. When such information is brought to the media, it may trigger a response from his followers. This is what has been happening from time immemorial. One could bring parallels with the serious consequences of World War I and II.
Media houses are always at constant competition. When any crime occurs, they do not stop to look at the consequences of airing such information. Depending on the nature of the crime, this normally results in more criminal activities. For example, there was a recent revolution among the African-Arab countries (Surette 2010). Most of them were aimed at ousting out their dictator leaders. However, peaceful means did not seem to work. Therefore, they sought to use criminal activities by moving to the streets. These dictator leaders always retaliated which resulted in many deaths of the rebels. Media houses and corporations rushed to air the killings of the rebels by these dictators. This triggered rebels to be more violent in their cause. It led to the increase of criminal activities. In particular, the rebels were damaging large cities in a bid to air their voice. Most of them went to the streets as a result of the videos that they watched in the media. This shows that the media plays an enormous role in the crimes that occur around the world.
The media constructs a sense of reality. Therefore, it prevents crime as a reality. Most of the conceptions on crime come from media sources. The ideas of crimes known to people are communicated by the media. People initially have their interpretations of crime. However, media comes up with other interpretations, which stick to the mind of the public. This goes a long way in the promotion of criminal activities. For example, hacking is a crime that should be dealt by any means possible. Hacking causes people to invade the privacy of others. It goes on to release private details that should not be known by any other parties. One of the most recent examples is the scandal around Wiki leaks.
The media goes on to air such events. Some corporations are exposing the private issues that have been revealed as a result of the crime. Some go to the extent of giving the procedure that can be followed in the commission of the crime. This is socially and legally unacceptable. It gives other members of the public certain ideas to commit crimes. This is because they have seen a new way in which one can get attention, have fun, and, at the same time, earn some money (Fourie 2008). This is a negative role by the media with regard to crime. It shows how much the media can promote criminal activities.
Media sources have the tendency to focus on crime and forget the crime offenders. When broadcasting news regarding crimes, these media corporations describe the crime that occurred. The offenders watch their activities without being mentioned. This shows that the main aim of the media corporations is just to present the news of the crime. They have no business with dealing or at least mentioning the offenders. When they mention the offenders, it is already a long time passed since they mentioned the crime itself. In doing so, the media houses do not help to reduce the crimes that take place in the modern society. They only promote an environment where crimes occur, and they are safely presented in the news. They do not affect the offenders who should be the main topic of discussion. This does not solve anything. It only functions to create public tension and discomfort. Once the public is in discomfort, the decisions made by individuals are not rational. Therefore, this can lead to the commission of more crimes. Media houses should not play the role of increasing the rate of crime occurrence. They should be on the forefront of ensuring the reduction of criminal activities every year.
Newspapers and other written media sources mainly deal with ideas. However, television deals with emotions, moods, and feelings. The news presented by the television affects the feelings of the viewer. This causes the buildup of a concept in the mind of such an individual. Therefore, when it comes to the reporting of crime, the public gets affected by the news. They learn the evils that are taking place in the society and how they occur. If these evils touch them in any way, they might even be forced to retaliate and start preparing the revenge plans. For example, when there are tribal clashes in some countries, the media brings up the issue and magnifies it. Members of the victim tribe develop emotions as well as the urge to revenge. They feel that they have to avenge the crimes against their own. This leads to a general increase in the number of crimes. Sometimes, the media leads to the increase of more and more crimes. They might even be of greater scope than the previous ones (MacKay 2007). This is a negative effect of media on criminal activities. They should be placedat the forefront to reduce the criminal activities taking place all over the world. However, they only serve to magnify issues and cause unnecessary tension in the country. This is something that should be stopped by the people in the media sector. They should decide to help the government to deal with criminal activities globally.
There are extremely many issues that go on in the world. There are business matters, sports, technology, entertainment, and many more. All these are available for the media to report. However, televisions and newspapers tend to place much focus on the crimes that happen in the society once in a while. For example, the headlines of news papers normally aim at capturing the attention of the readers. The headline could be “70 die in a bomb blast.” This is an alarming headline to be at the front page of a national newspaper. It could create a lot of tension in a country. The truth of the matter is that there are many other events that were worth the front page headline of the newspaper. However, these media institutions choose to start with such alarming headlines. They do not stop to think of the consequences of such headlines. It causes people to be in a shaky mood as well as in panic. Therefore, people act prematurely, especially if they are involved. This can cause even greater number of crimes. These are crimes which could have been avoided easily if the media had taken responsibility for their actions. This is a call to all members of the media sector and who claim to be patriots. They should try and be discrete in the news that they air. If they have to air the news on the crimes that have been committed, they should give them less attention than other matters of national development. Focusing on the negative occurrences in a country can lead to more losses.
Research shows that whenever two media stations report on the same issue they tend to have different versions. This is a manifestation of how news can be altered. When these are the news concerning crimes, it becomes a tricky situation since it is an extremely dangerous issue. For example, an accident may take place leading to the death of a high ranking officer in a country. One media source could go on to broadcast the news that the official was assassinated by a certain group of people.
This news could just be a form of speculation. Accidents are normal and happen every single day. However, assassinations do not take place all the time. Therefore, when they are claimed to have happened, public tensions are created. This leads to increase in the crime levels in a certain region. People react to the allegations that could be false. All this could be the fault of the media source. These situations do not exist only on paper (Fedorov 2003). There are many media corporations in the current times that behave like this. This results in a greater number crime commissions. This happens on a large scale since media reaches people from all parts of the world. Therefore, the role that the media plays in the promotion of crime is a significant factor. It is a key determinant of the national stability.
From the essay above, it is clear that the media has an enormous potential to deal with crime in the right way. However, it is the media organizations which cause some of the crimes to occur. They lack discretion in the news that they present to the people. This causes panic in the public and affects the national and international moods. Therefore, more crimes are likely to occur as a result of media interference. More criminal activities can be favored by the method of presentation of the news on crimes. However, the media can also play an enormous role to ensure that criminal activities are decreasing.
The freedom of the media should be respected by the government. However, it is the role of the leaders of these media organizations to deal with this menace of crime. Whenever media houses are airing news concerning crime, they should practice discretion. This means that they should choose the news that they offer to the public. They should also make sure that they present the news in an ethical manner. It should not be presented in a way that incites the public and prompts a reaction. By doing this, they can enjoy their freedom to air their news without criticism. There is some news that should not be aired. This is for the general wellbeing of the public. It is the work of all the media houses to evaluate this news and make sure that they do not cause an increase in the number of crimes occurring.
When reporting crimes, the media houses should give considerable time to giving vital information. This information could be on the offenders who committed the crime. In short, media corporations should work hand in hand with the government in a bid to stop or reduce the crime rates in different countries. The media should use its extensive research tools to find information about the whereabouts of the offenders, as well as their criminal motives. In doing so, the media houses would be playing an enormous role in the prevention and reduction of criminal activities. However, this requires backup from the government (Roberts 2003). Pursuing information on crimes is easy and less dangerous. However, researching on the offenders themselves is a dangerous act. This can pose many dangers to the media personnel. Therefore, the government should work with the media sources the help them pursue this objective.
The governments and international bodies also have a role to play in reducing the promotion of crime by media houses. There should be terms and conditions that a media house must meet in airing of their news. Therefore, there should be a penalty placed on the occurrence of such behavior. If a media house presents news concerning crime in a way that causes public discomfort and panic, there should be a penalty. This will go a long way to ensure that the media houses do not misuse their freedom to promote crime. The government should insist that sources of media should prioritize their news. The news concerned with development of the country should be given priority. The headlines in the news should not cause panic to the members of the public (Fink 2010). Therefore, members of the media should be picky when deciding what news should be given first priority. These are matters that must be addressed with the great seriousness as they can cause substantial harm to a country. It should be addressed in the areas which have suffered serious crimes in the past. This can go a long way to prevent mistakes that occurred in previous years.