CRIM2010 : Crime In Media

Question:

Is the “moral panic” thesis convincing in explaining media reporting and public responses to minority groups or deviant individuals?

Give examples of cases that arose from moral panic, and then discuss the historical period in which these cases occurred.

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Answer:

Stanley Cohen, a sociologist, was the first to use the “moral panic”, a term that describes the impact of social, political and media influences (Jewkes (2015)).

When the media uses an ordinary incident to report it and then makes it extraordinary, this is called moral panic.

Fear and state intervention create chaos and havoc in society.

The moral panic can be applied to a variety of social problems including terrorism, child abuse and school and college violence, illegal migration, youth gangs and many other issues.

Kris Kobach, republican, recently laid out his vision regarding the undocumented immigration in Kansas.

Although critics have stated that Kansas has very few undocumented immigrant, it is actually a relatively small percentage, i.e.

75000 is less than 1% of all the immigrants present in the entire country.

Although the murder of the student at Lowa College was ruled a murder by undocumented immigrants, Kobach linked it with his illegal immigration policies.

Reports in the media painted a negative image of the effect of immigrants on Kansas.

Fear has been sown in the minds and hearts of the immigrant population.

The immigration guidelines clearly state that all immigrant residents in the region are legal.

Gomez Cervantes was identified by the research team as the media and Kobach’s means of creating panic (Valverde (2018)).

This was due in part to the lack of statistics showing that immigrants are more inclined to commit crimes.

According to the preceding part, media reports can cause panic in minority and deviant communities.

Reporting in this manner can lead to anxiety and fear in the immigrant community. Stereotyping the entire community as dangerous can result in the formation of broader community relationships.

The reporting and the manner of reporting must be carefully chosen.

Media and crime.

Kansas is illegal immigration a problem?

Kobach agrees, despite small numbers.

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