Chapter

Media, Gender, and Crime Victims

Michelle L. Meloy and Susan L. Miller

in The Victimization of Women

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780199765102
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199944187 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199765102.003.0012
Media, Gender, and Crime Victims

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Mainstream media sources are one of our most influential storytellers. Public sentiment regarding women, crime, and victimization is directly influenced by the media's linguistics, visual images, and case selection and by the gendered nature of the profession. These factors express causality, establish or reestablish social norms, present ways of interpreting certain events, and affect how these variables exert an impact on women's daily lives. This chapter describes the media's fascination with and representation of some crimes of violence committed against women and children. It also addresses victim myths, as disseminated by mainstream media, and how language plays a powerful role in inflaming passions about victimization events. Moreover, it examines the media's overreliance on crime stories in their broadcasts, and ways in which the industry's organizational priorities impact crime reporting. It concludes with examples of how accurate and responsible media reporting can legitimize the existence of social problems, increase public awareness and education, and empower crime victims.

Keywords: media; women; children; victimization; crimes of violence; crime reporting; crime stories; crime victims

Chapter.  7836 words. 

Subjects: Social Theory

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