The Public has always been fascinated by crime and justice, and the media has made great efforts to satisfy that fascination. From early forms of news media, such as broadsheets and the penny press, to crime entertainment, ranging from theatre to dime novels to current television crime dramas and movies, the media has always provided our “knowledge” of crime. The public has been exposed to the most infamous and fascinating stories of crime and swift justice through the media. However, the media’s portrayal of reality is far from accurate. If we were to take our signs from the media, we would assume that most of the crime is extremely violent. In fact, we must assume that serial killings are commonplace and that terrorists are lurking around every corner, ready to destroy the country. We would also believe that police are incredibly capable of solving 99 percent of crimes, and that 99 percent of suspects are brought to trial and convicted and sentenced to prison very quickly.
However, most offences are nonviolent and go unnoticed by the police. Furthermore, due to a lack of training or resources, police officers are frequently unable to collect the most useful forensic evidence. As you progress through the court system, you will see that most cases are resolved through plea bargaining based on eyewitness testimony and never go to trial. Finally, most offenders receive probation or a community-based penalty if they are convicted (i.e., guilty verdicts or pleas). Understanding these facts, is necessary to know how crime and justice are portrayed in the media.
People frequently make the error of referring to the media as a unified body. The plural version of the word medium is the term media. “A particular kind or system of communication,” according to Merriam Webster Dictionary. When we talk about media, we are talking about all types of news and entertainment media, including TV, radio, and print. Televised, cinematic, internet, radio, newspapers, periodicals, and books are among them. Furthermore, we are talking to mass media in the sense that news about crime and justice is broadcast in a variety of media outlets at the time of the event and for some time afterwards.
When Trayvon Martin was killed by George Zimmerman in 2012 because he was a suspicious young black male, the incident was reported daily by television, print, and radio news. The media took their audience from the crime scene to the arrest, prosecution, protest, and the Black Lives Matter movement, all the way to George Zimmerman’s afterlife. The issue was picked up by more than just the mainstream media. The music industry also spoke out over Trayvon Martin’s death, as well as the murder of other unarmed black men.
In the realm of print media, Kenneth J. Fasching-Varner, Rema E. Reynolds, Katrice A. Albert, and Lori L. Martin released ‘Trayvon Martin, Race, and American Justice’ in 2014. If you type Trayvon Martin’s name into Google Books, you will get 16,400 results, including Trayvon Martin’s name in the title of the top 18 results. Trayvon Martin’s death was also extensively publicised on social media. In fact, one of the Martin family lawyers used social media to start the Black Lives Matter movement.
However, how far do these stories go? What messages do the media send, how often do they reach their targets, and how effective are these communications?
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
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