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CJA 314 Week 1 Discussion Question 2

Why does crime remain a concern among the public despite declining crime rates? What role does media play in this phenomenon?

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Crime remains a concern for the public in spite of the continued downward trend primarily because of the publicity given to crime in the media. Violent crime located in an individual’s neighborhood can have a similar effect on increased crime perception. Another aspect of the increased media attention that impacts the perception that crime is rampant is the advent of portable information devices (cell phone connected to the internet, iPads, etc.). These devices have instant access to all of the latest local, state and national news. Let’s be honest what is going to have more of an impact in the media for rating purposes; the dedication of a new store, or a 100 mph chase on the local highway which resulted in a fiery car accident? It is possible for the media to not only publish stories about crimes, but also to not publish information about other crimes that would impact the interests of the news agency(Schmalleger, 2012).Good examples of this exist every night on different cable news networks. The live broad cast coverage of car chases seems to be an every week event somewhere in the country. There is no doubt the media has an influence on the public regarding criminal activity. It is a shame the media does not cover the border problems, and issues that local law enforcement deals with daily.

Crime remains a concern among the public despite the declining crime rates is because there is an attitude from the public that if it happens once it will happen again. The possibility is always there and this is what the public fears. The past stays with us and in particularly with crime. Past crimes such as Jeffery Dohmer, Gasey, the Hillside Stranglers are just three that not only movies but books were made from. And let’s not forget about Helter Skelter! And the Killing Fields in Texas City, Texas is still one I will never forget. These types of crimes stick with a person even years after the actual crime.

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