Date of Defense

Fall 12-10-1993



First Advisor

Susan Caringella-MacDonald, Socioloy

Second Advisor

Ronald Kramer, Sociology

Third Advisor

Zoann Snyder-Joy, Sociology


broadcast media


Media continually present an erroneous and incomplete image of criminals and criminal activities. Comparisons of official statistics and news media statistics show that the latter concentrate on "street" crimes (murder, rape, assault, etc.) and all but ignore the most frequent crimes of burglary and theft. According to official reports, this picture is backwards to what is actually happening in society. When the media present a distorted reality they can cause unnecessary fear and prejudice within the general public. To be able to better understand the pros and cons relating to the news media and crime, this paper will concentrate on the history of newspapers reporting crime, how television "creates" the news, how individuals process and interpret media information, and recommendations for policy changes.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only