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Making the News: If It Bleeds, It Leads

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Making the News: If It Bleeds, It Leads SOCI0067: Crime and the Media Lecture 2 Dr. L. Cho, PhD E-mail: Lifcho_at_gmail.com DEPARTMENT OF SOCIOLOGY – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Making the News: If It Bleeds, It Leads


1
Making the News If It Bleeds, It Leads
  • SOCI0067 Crime and the Media
  • Lecture 2
  • Dr. L. Cho, PhD
  • E-mail Lifcho_at_gmail.com

2
Announcements
  • Course blog http//soci0067.wordpress.com/
  • Reading packet (around HK66) can be picked up at
    the photocopy centre located at the Meng Wah
    Complex (next to Park n Shop)
  • Tutorial Sign-up
  • Keep up with your journal entries

3
HKU Student Media Usage Survey
  • Please fill it out!

4
Theories About Media and Crime
  • Relationship between media and crime
  • How do media affect people?
  • Do the media cause crime?

5
What Do We Mean By Media?
  • Something that carries some kind of communication
  • Communication involves sending message from one
    or more senders to one or more receivers

6
Most Common Media
  • Newspapers, radio, TV, magazines, comics, books,
    films, billboards, photographs, recordings,
    telephones, video games, etc.

7
Including New Media
  • Media created with the help of modern computer
    processing power
  • Computer internet, xanga, MySpace, Facebook,
    YouTube, Tudou, Baidu
  • Mobile phones
  • MP3s, etc.
  • More coverage of private affairs with fewer
    restrictions
  • Bus Uncle Incident

Available at http//hk.youtube.com/watch?vRSHziq
JWYcM
8
To Become E-Famous
Available at http//www.wftv.com/video/15817921/i
ndex.html
9
Recorded Brutal Attack to Post on YouTube
  • March 20, 2008
  • Polk County, Florida
  • One 16 year old girl attacked by group of girls
    (14-17 years old)
  • Treated for concussion, damage to her left eye
    and left ear, and numerous bruises,
  • Video taped with the intent to upload on MySpace
    and YouTube
  • April 7, 2008 tape released to media
  • Eight charged with battery and false imprisonment

10
Demand Stiff Punishments for Web Sites
  • "I want stiffer punishments for these shock Web
    sites that entice kids to make these videos so
    they can be famous on the Internet,"
  • -- Patrick (father of the victim) told The Ledger
    of Lakeland, Fla.

11
YouTube Ban Video That Incite Violence
  • Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) criticized the
    site was too open to terrorist groups
    disseminating militant propaganda.
  • Videos will be deemed to be "inciting others to
    violence,"
  • YouTube removed some of the videos that marked
    with the logos of al-Qaeda
  • Refused to take down most of the videos on the
    senator's list
  • Existing guidelines prohibiting graphic violence
    and hate speech

12
What Do We Mean By Crime?
  • Popularly perceived by the public as deviant
  • Behaviours legally deemed as an offense
    (murder, rape, assault, pick-pocketing, street
    scams)

13
Deviance is created by the imposition of a
particular definition of behaviour of a
particular context
14
Stealing Note Paper
  • Shelves of Supermarket
  • From HKU library printer

15
Same Act Defined Differently
  • Supermarket
  • HKU
  • Arrested
  • Charged with theft
  • Internal discipline

16
Social context where the offence and deviance
takes place is a central aspect of sociological
explanation
17
Cross Cultural Communication as Deviance
OK Signal Middle Finger Thumbs Up Whistling
U.S. U.S. U.S. U.S.
Expresses approval Offensive gesture Hitch-hiking or show of approval When happy
JAPAN KOREA NIGERIA EUROPE
Means you are asking for money Used for pointing Rude gesture Sign of disapproval at public events
18
Including Sex Work
  • Not legally defined as crime
  • However, considered by many, though not all, in
    Hong Kong as deviant

19
Why Study Media and Crime?
  • Media is pervasive

20
Permeate All Aspects of Our Daily Life
21
Media Usage by Young People in the United States
  • A typical day
  • 304 hours a day watching TV
  • 144 hours a day listening to music
  • 102 hours a day using a computer
  • 049 hours a day playing video games
  • 043 hours a day reading
  • 032 hours a day watching videos, DVDs
  • 025 hours a day watching movies in a theatre
  • 014 hours a day watching prerecorded TV
  • Total 6.7 hours using media of some form
  • 2005 Kaiser media usage study for young people
    (ages 8 to 18)

22
New Media Use
  • 66 use instant messaging
  • 64 downloaded music from the internet
  • 48 streamed a radio station through the internet
  • 39 have a cell phone
  • 35 created a personal Web site or Web page
  • 34 have a DVR such as TiVo in their homes
  • 18 have an MP3 player
  • 13 have a handheld device that connects to the
    Internet
  • 2005 Kaiser media usage study for young people
    (ages 8 to 18)

23
An Average American
  • 9.2 hours using consumer media
  • 62 households have video game equipment
  • 50 households have newspaper subscription
  • Homes with children
  • 70 own video game system
  • 18 of teenagers (13-17) read often 50 read
    sometimes, 32 never read
  • Teenagers spend 2.5 hours on a home computer
  • 66 of U.S. children have a TV set in their
    bedroom
  • Children spend about 28 hours watching TV (twice
    as much time as they spend in school in a year)
  • Adapted from Popular Culture and the American
    Child site

24
Media is an Important Source of Knowledge
  • Media can create and reflect popular sentiment
    about crime and justice
  • In turn, influence social policy

25
Understanding Medias Role in Constructing Our
Reality
  • Nature and priorities of media as a business
  • How is media driven by organizational needs
    and/or political beliefs?
  • How do they accomplish this?

26
Why Study Crime and the Media?
  • Crime is a basic staple of media
  • Internationally featured in all mass media forms

27
2006 Local TV News Coverage (TVB ATV)
  • Economy (14.7 of local news) Seasonal economic
    figures (GDP, inflation, prices, salaries),
    business environment, government policies,
    corporate developments, fluctuations in market
    situation (equity, food supplies, gasoline)
    Crime (14) ICAC cases, customs actions of
    search and seizure, court verdicts and sentences,
    homicide, fraudulent acts, dead body found,
    illegal gambling. criminal damages, trafficking
    of drug, crime investigation, robberies,
    arson.etc.  
  • Politics (13.7) 71 rally, the re-emergence of
    Mrs Anson Chan and Mrs Regina Yip, Government
    responses to popular pressures for universal
    suffrageetc.
  • Accidents (12) Fire accidents, car crashes,
    traffic jams, suicides, casualties due to drug
    abuses, pedestrian hurt by falling objects from
    nearby building, disruption of electricity
    suppliesetc.
  • Health and Safety (11) Resumption of supply of
    live stock from the mainland, impact of drug
    abuses on health, health issues associated with
    over-weight children, outbreak of bird flu,
    safety of elevators in KCRC, the ranking of
    killing diseases in Hong Kong.etc.

Adapted from Mr. To Yiu-mings Introduction to
Journalism Course at HK Baptist University.
Available at http//www.hkbu.edu.hk/jour/course/
1120/
28
2006 Local Newspaper Coverage (Apple Daily, Ming
Pao, SCMP)
  • Politics (18.7)
  • Crime (17.3)
  • Accidents (16)
  • Economy (16)
  • Health and safety (5.3)

Adapted from Mr. To Yiu-mings Introduction to
Journalism Course at HK Baptist University.
Available at http//www.hkbu.edu.hk/jour/course/
1120/
29
Comparison
  • TV
  • Newspapers
  • Crime (14) 
  • Accidents (12)
  • Economy (14.7)
  • Politics (13.7)
  • Health and Safety (11)
  • Crime (17.3)
  • Accidents (16)
  • Economy (16)
  • Politics (18.7)
  • Health and safety (5.3)

30
US Crime Coverage
20
12
9.5
7.1
5.8
4.7
4.2
31
Hong Kong Violent Crime Statistics 2003 to 2007
32
2006 Crime Coverage
  • Hong Kong
  • Los Angeles
  • Population nearly 7 million
  • Violent Crimes 14,817
  • HK newspaper coverage of crime 17.3
  • Population nearly 3 million (2,936,101)
  • Violent Crimes 87,940
  • US newspaper coverage of crime 4.2

33
Los Angeles County Crime Statistics 2006
34
Why Study Crime and the Media?
  • Does media give objective and neutral
    presentation of reality?

35
Case Study 1
  • O.J. Simpson

36
Most publicized criminal trial in history
  • June 12, 1994 Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald
    Goldman were found fatally stabbed outside
    Brown's Los Angeles apartment
  • Former American football star and actor
  • Brought to trial for the murder of his ex-wife
    Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald
    Goldman
  • Acquitted in 1995 after a lengthy trial, the
    longest jury trial in California history.

37
OJ Simpson June 27, 1994
38
Time Magazine Justification
  • The Time cover made Simpson's face darker,
    blurrier, and unshaven.
  • Matt Mahurin, the illustrator at Time Magazine
    who manipulated the police photo, said he "wanted
    to make it more artful, more compelling.
  • An NBC poll taken in 2004 reported that, although
    77 of 1,186 people sampled thought Simpson was
    guilty, only 27 of blacks in the sample believed
    so, compared to 87 of whites.

39
Break
40
What is the Relationship Between Crime and the
Media?
  • Heated public debates since the early 1900s

41
One Popular View
  • Media is a primary cause of crime in society

42
Distinction
  • Causality
  • Correlation
  • X causes Y.
  • Whenever you have X, you get Y
  • Y comes after X and is possibly connected with it

43
Direct Effect
  • Sensational media encourages and accounts for
    evil violence

44
Implication
  • Censorship

45
Other Popular View
  • Media has little to no effect on crime
  • No need to censor

46
Effects Model (Stimuli-Response Model)
  • 1920s Psychologists into behaviourism (view
    individual behaviour in response to a stimuli)
  • Period of great social change, immigration
    urbanization
  • Related problems breakdown of traditional values
    and family structure
  • Media seen as positive powerful to promote
    change, improving society
  • People directly affected, absorb and follow what
    they hear and learn from media
  • Tend to accept neutrality and objectiveness
    media
  • Tend to quantify attitudes, behaviours, feelings,
    see what they study as objective and real
  • Lab test, lab test, lab test

47
Stanford Study
  • Bandura et al. (1950)
  • Children shown film/cartoon with violence
  • Children left in room to bash Bobo dolls
  • See you tube for re-enactment of Bandura study
    http//hk.youtube.com/watch?vZeE_Ymzc1rEfeature
    PlayListpDD6880672E8F6D40playnext1index12

48
Functionalists Account of Media
  • Aka hypodermic syringe model
  • Audience is passive
  • Media injects values and ideas to passive
    receiver, producing direct negative effect on
    behaviour

49
Apply Direct Effect Theory to Nude Photo Scandal
50
Critics of Direct Effect Model
  • Most of these psychological research conducted in
    labs under controlled conditions
  • Fails to account for human interaction
  • Fails to account for competing messages
  • Recipients are mechanical and passive
  • Unable to think for themselves
  • Reduce behaviour as being due to only one factor
    when multiple reasons for human action
  • Measures immediately response only rather than
    long term accumulative effects
  • Lab condition, cannot replicate in real life
    situation

51
How to Account for Aggressive Behaviour When
Individual Does Not View/Read Media?
52
Critics of Direct Effect
  • Violent crime occurred before media became
    popular
  • No evidence show that remove violent media means
    no violence
  • See shows on tribal societies where there is
    violence but no T.V.

53
In Hong Kong
  • Lots of popular movies and Chinese newspaper
    coverage show lots of blood guts
  • Hong Kong has low incidence of violence, in
    particular murder.

54
2006 Crime Coverage
  • Hong Kong
  • Population nearly 7 million
  • Violent Crimes 14,817
  • HK newspaper coverage of crime 17.3

55
Growing Frustration from 1960s
  • Cant show how or why people are influenced by
    the media
  • So, changed research direction

56
What Does the Media Do to People?
  • What do people do with the media?
  • What is the purpose of media in peoples everyday
    life?

57
Audience is Not Passive,but Active Agents
58
Studies of British American Soap Operas
  • For viewers
  • TV watching is functional
  • Escapism, tension release, enhance social
    interaction, personal identity

59
Why Are People Not So Influenced?
  • Selective exposure
  • Selective perception
  • Selective retention and recall
  • Media has few lessons on everyday life too
    removed

60
Rise of Reception Analysis (1980s)
  • Media doesnt control individuals
  • Uses media as a resource
  • Select images and meanings that relate to wider
    experiences

61
Sociology Perspective Critical of Direct Effect
Approach
  • Limitations to direct effect / psychological
    Approach
  • Media is not value neutral
  • Media rooted in ideological beliefs
  • Direct effect de-contexualize individual
    collective behaviour
  • Behaviour must be understood in its social
    context

62
Sociology Perspectives
  • People are active participants in media
    interpretive process
  • Functionalist media is part of the structure and
    workings of society necessary for survival of
    society. Media stabilizes society (as oppose to
    cause change)
  • Marxist/conflict Media allied to power
    structure, agents of political control

63
Cultural and Media Studies View
  • Focus less on effects, more on variation of
    responses to the content as part of broader
    cultural phenomenon. Focus on normality of media
    role in peoples lives rather than the dangerous
    effect.
  • How do media construct and censor certain
    behaviours in oppositional terms?
  • How does it promote moral lessons?

64
Criminology Perspective
  • Direct effect TV retards higher cognitive
    functions, TV acts as stimuli
  • Indirect effect media coverage on sex gtgtgt lax
    attitude on sex gtgtgt crime
  • Media part of political process media pressuring
    state to do something about a problem. Does the
    public influence media or vice versa?

65
Criminology Perspective
  • Rational Choice media is positive as audience
    learn about negative aspects of crime
    (deterrence)
  • Social Control media reinforces conventional
    values (role of media in preventing crime)
  • Public Perception media influence perception and
    fear of crime
  • Public Pressure media influence what criminal
    justice system does

66
Social (Media) Construction of Reality
  • Assumption Knowledge is subjective, variable,
    socially based

67
Constructed Reality
68
Shared symbolically
  • Collectively shared through language
  • Others experienced is shared
  • What people believe to be true is largely
    acquired symbolically rather than actually
    experienced
  • We have limited experience, rely on media for
    information

69
President Bush
70
Donald Tseng
71
Man Walking on the Moon
72
Media is BIG Business
  • Driven by profit
  • Content and images influenced by business motives
  • Need to present competing claims

73
American Approach to Media and Crime
  • Social Constructionism

74
Competing Constructions
  • Claims descriptions, assertions, stereotypes
    about nature and extent of problem
  • Claimsmakers various interest groups who make
    specific claims, shape problem as they see it,
    morally, politically and financially driven
  • Secondary Claimsmakers news media
  • Ownership who owns or come to own the problem
  • Links linkage of one issue to other problems

75
Media Filter
  • What is majority view
  • What is dramatic
  • What will lead to more business

76
Happy New Year!
  • See you in two weeks
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