Representing crime: the media and public criminology in the post-Leveson era

Harper, Craig (2013) Representing crime: the media and public criminology in the post-Leveson era. In: Howard League for Penal Reform - "What is Justice?" Conference, 1 - 2 October 2013, Keble College, Oxford University, UK.

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Howard League for Penal Reform Conference (1st-2nd Oct 2013) - Public Criminology Post-Leveson Poster.pdf
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Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Poster)
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Abstract

The political fallout post-Leveson has led to the press needing to re-evaluate some of its methods of reporting issues deemed to be ‘in the public interest’. As a part of the Leveson Inquiry, the Howard League made a submission in which it was suggested that the media, and in particular the printed press, are fuelling public outrage at the supposed ‘softness’ of prison, and downplaying the role that community sentencing can play in reducing overall levels of re-offending. This poster presents findings from a recent study that demonstrates that the printed news media’s misrepresentation of criminal justice issues is not confined to the debate about whether ‘prison works’, but rather extends to representations of the prevalence of different crime types. A nine times over-representation of sexual crime was found, along with an almost two-and-a-half times over representation of violent crime, whilst acquisitive crime – the type of offending most prevalent within the UK – was found to be under-represented within British press reports by four-and-a-half times. These findings are considered within the context of linguistically hostile press articles (particularly about sexual crime) as a potential block to engaging the public in informed debate about offending and crime reduction. Opportunities for more representative press reporting are identified, as are the implications of not acting on such a disparity between press reports and the realities of crime in the UK.

Keywords:public criminology, leveson, british press
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C880 Social Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C810 Applied Psychology
P Mass Communications and Documentation > P500 Journalism
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:11946
Deposited On:18 Sep 2013 14:37

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