Do you think that crime rates are affected by news coverage?

We make such a big deal about trials of murderers, rapists, crimes involving race, etc. It got me wondering if people were exposed to less crime on the news and more uplifting stories if the crime rate would drop. There's a good chance that a lot of criminals don't watch the news (seeing as how there are a lot of noncriminals who don't watch it either) so it may or may not make a difference.

What is your take? Do you think it would make a difference, why or why not?

  • Crime rates ARE affected
    38% (3)44% (4)41% (7)Vote
  • Crime rates are NOT affected
    50% (4)33% (3)41% (7)Vote
  • Other..
    12% (1)23% (2)18% (3)Vote
And you are? I'm a GirlI'm a Guy

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Most Helpful Guy

  • Yes, I do think so very much. See, I come from Switzerland but I have lived in the US for a while. One thing that's very different between the two countries is the way how tv shows of all kinds (news, game shows etc.) work. Personally, I experienced American news shows to be extremely sensationalist. Everything gets blown up by journalists into a huge disaster or sensation, everything has to be way bigger than it really is. Sometimes I felt like this is made at least partially because the viewers in America are already so numb to most tv sensations. They've seen it all. So the media has to constantly come up with even crazier stories. This is achieved in different ways. One way of course is to cover it at all. In some occasions things are covered that are not worth being covered, simply because they are "a good story" (sensation), while cover-worthy stuff is left out. Another way is to blow up the story itself... maybe say stuff that is not 100% correct or that the media can't actually know yet because the news are too new. And a third way is to reflect the sensationalism in the way you film and cut the news. This is also the biggest difference to Swiss news. In Switzerland, news shows tend to be very calm, maybe even a little boring for Americans who are not used to this format. In the US, news shows tend to be extremely hectic. There are people walking around behind the news host, there are some kind of news tickers at the bottom of the screen, the filmed scenes (for example when it's about a crime) get cut into a very quick sequence etc. The reason why this matters is that the population gets on the one hand numbed down about violence and on the other hand freaked out about security. By having this kind of sensationalist news, American channels transform their viewers into people who are suspicious toward every stranger and paranoid about every normal situation but also, at the same time, don't really feel sick anymore when they hear of a murder because, well, it's just yet another murder. I believe the media has a huge impact on how a country thinks and feels and in my opinion, there is a lot about the American media that should change. Most of all, it should cover more positive stories and it should be calmer and less sensationalist. It's like with movies too. There are absolutely amazing German or Scandinavian movies that are very calm. Not every movie has to be a blockbuster with exploding cars and tons of shooting like the ones Hollywood produces.

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What Guys Said 3

  • I feel the media keeps chit stirred up rather than letting a bad thing go away

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  • by some degree only :)

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  • It's not actually that simple; media does effect crime but media in general is also a reflection of what is to some degree so it's a vicious cycle and begins with the external (what is being reported) rather than the internal (focus on specific topics for media).

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What Girls Said 2

  • I don't think they are.

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  • It is not affected because people (criminals) dont pick up what they are doing through news coverage. everybody need to know the consequences of what they do/intend to do

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