Why Criminologists Study Journalism?

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Dr Suhail Ansari
Hassan Latif Shaikh
Rameez Ali Mahesar


‘Media is situated within, and fully interwoven with, many other social practices, to the extent where crime and media representations are inseparable’. Criminologist must, however, be alert to the ways in which media create perceptions in order to understand that things are not as always as they are presented. Criminologist has to be a well-versed scholar on the subject of media practices to tread fuzzy area between the news and propaganda and to identify the instances of media coverage of crime as the major culprit for the increase in crime through its redefinition; and for the increase in pessimism through projecting only dark things in much darker light as good news is bad news for media. Awareness of media practices helps criminologist to understand the reasons for separate feeds so can be used for different content of several newspapers to realize truth; and to understand the failure of media to publicize moral dilemma because of its failure to offer rational and duly informed societal response. Criminologist is to be media scholar to know that news is not necessarily about events those transcend crimes and there does exists the standoff between moral panic and realism and separation of cause and effect and the addition of newness to news and exceptionalization of crime; and crime representation can be for the marginalization of some groups.

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