Media Portray of Youth Crime and Deviance

Media portrayal of youth crime and deviance

One of the main forms of social control in our society is mass media. The public learn from television newspapers and books what is going on in the world and how to interpret it. However most of what we see and hear is not a true representation of what is happening. Within my essay I will be discussing different ways in which the media focus on certain crimes and deviance. I have chosen to look in to the ways that youth crime and deviance is portrayed and ways in which public perceptions regarding young people have been affected by this.   The media play an important role in influencing public perceptions and opinions, and sometimes cause moral panics. The media sometimes create the distorted image of youths that, we the public perceive. Most of these images emphasize problems like crime, drug use, and teen pregnancy.
Media broadcasters often see youth as a threat. Far too often, the media portrays young people in a negative light. Constantly focusing on youth crimes, particularly those crimes committed by minority men, creates the false impression that youth crime is rising, and that all minority men are criminals. Not only is this a completely false, racist and stereotypical, it also detracts from all the youth who are well adjusted, intelligent and accomplished.
The skewed coverage in today's media results in the belief that youth crime is on the rise. BBC news, For example, claimed UK violent crime is "spiralling" (BBC1, 14/3/05). Violent crime by youths is at its lowest point in the 25-year history of the National Crime Victimization Survey, yet 62% of poll respondents felt that juvenile crime was on the increase. The majority of this percentage stated that they received their information from the media. The news on television and in newspapers causes moral panics.
The most famous moral panic is “The Mods and Rockers” The Mods and Rockers were two conflicting British youth subcultures of the early-mid 1960s....