The emotional representation of sexual crime in the national British press

Harper, Craig and Hogue, Todd (2015) The emotional representation of sexual crime in the national British press. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 34 (1). pp. 3-24. ISSN 0261-927x

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Item Type:Article
Item Status:Live Archive

Abstract

The relationships between the media, public attitudes, and crime are complex, with evidence suggesting that public interaction with these press reports influencing wider social and political attitudes. Here, 543 articles from 8 of the 10 most-read British national newspapers were examined in terms of their representativeness of crime rates, and their linguistic properties. Results include a 9:1 representation of sexual crime, a 2.5:1 representation of violent crime, and a 1:4 representation of acquisitive crime within press articles compared with official statistics. Rating the linguistic content indicates that sexual crime articles comprised angrier and more emotionally negative tones than stories on all other groups. Tabloid and broadsheet differences were found in headlines, but not in the main bodies of the articles. Cognitive–experiential self-theory is offered as just one social psychological framework for understanding the role of emotion in sexual crime reporting.

Keywords:sex offending, media coverage, emotion, bmjholiday, bmjgoldcheck, NotOAChecked
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C810 Applied Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C880 Social Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C890 Psychology not elsewhere classified
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:14576
Deposited On:28 Jul 2014 15:00

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