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Word Count: 706
Crime and Media Against a backdrop of long term rising crime figures rising prison population and more recently the daily reporting of street crime the common sense narrative for crime has evolved The public is reliant on the government to reduce crime levels and are more or less powerless to enforce or change the law apart from campaigns or direct action With the daily reporting of street crime in the media often sensationalised or simplified readers may start to connect certain types of crimes with particular stereotypes or images This is one of the traits of the phenomenon which has become known as a Moral Panic a term first explored in print by Stanley Cohen 1973 Folk Devils and Moral Panics London Paladin Societies appear to be subject every now and then to periods of moral panic A condition episode person or group of persons emerges to become defined as a threat to societal values and interest its nature is presented in a stylised and stereotypical fashion by the mass media S Cohen1973 The media has become increasingly influential in recent times as regards its portrayal of the dangers of particular crimes and therefore the publics perception of them People like to follow an ongoing story or familiar character ie a disaster medical or crime story A person or group of people are seen and reported by the media to be presenting a distinct moral social danger For example recently a newspaper devoted two whole pages to a story about a beggar in the street who was also claiming unemployment benefit and using the money to pay for his heroin addiction The picture was of a miserable looking man sitting in the street with a bowl for money The article claimed he was a cheat because he wasnt homeless he lived in a shared flat and went into great detail about his drug habit then claiming
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