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Media and Criminal Justice, Essay Example

Pages: 1

Words: 298

Essay

Introduction

The Media represents a powerful influence on the criminal justice scene in the USA.  This has often been viewed in the light of being adversarial and equally supportive of the criminal justice process.  This often relates to the quality of the reporter and the media organization it represents.

The media as an enemy

The media can be seen as confrontational when it takes a political stance against the legal position in a particular case.  This can be further damaging when it reports erroneous facts or potentially misleading information that is skewed away from a balanced judgement position.  The USA has been heavily focused upon media trials since the 1920’s in particular that of cases like O.J. Simpson and more recently the death of Michael Jackson.  The local papers and cable coverage have put forward opinions on what has been called “tabloid justice” . Poor reporting can be very misleading to the Public and lead them to focus upon the more sensationalist aspects of the case as opposed to the facts leading to the pursuit of justice.  (Fox, R.L.  2007)

The media as an ally

The media can be viewed as an ally when it supports the Criminal Justice process. For example the search for a potential homicide suspect, the search for a violent escaped prisoner, the accurate reporting of a trial case.  The relationship between law enforcement and that of the media is not a good one. Organizations like the FBI have used the media successfully in serial killer investigations. (FBI, 2011).   In general terms the media has been criticised for hampering the criminal justice process.

References

FBI. (2011). Federal Bureau of Investigation. Retrieved 10 17, 2011, from IX. Media Issues in Serial Murder Investigations: http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/serial-murder/serial-murder-1#nine

R.L. Fox, R. S. (2007). Tabloid Justice: Criminal Justice in an age of media frenzy. Boulder CO: Lynne Reiner.

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