SAGE Journal Articles

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Article 11.1

Callanan, V., & Rosenberger, J. S. (2015). Media, gender, and fear of crime. Criminal Justice Review, 40(3), 322–339.

Few studies have examined how the intersection of gender and race/ethnicity may manifest differences in the effects of crime-related media on fear of crime. This study examines the relationships between various forms of crime-related media on fear of crime with a sample disaggregated by gender to ascertain if crime-related media consumption works differently for women and men. Race/ethnic differences within gender were also examined. Only slight differences between men and women were found and differences across race/ethnicity within gender groups were minor. Therefore, despite the prevalence of White female victims in crime-related media, media messages of risk, and fear seem to influence viewers similarly regardless of gender or race, providing additional support for cultivation theory and mainstreaming effects.

Article 11.2

Kort-Butler, L. A., & Habecker, P. (2018). Framing and cultivating the story of crime: The effects of media use, victimization, and social networks on attitudes about crime. Criminal Justice Review43(2), 127–146.

The current study extended prior research by considering the effects of media, victimization, and network experiences on attitudes about crime and justice, drawing on the problem frame, cultivation, real-word, and interpersonal diffusion theses. Data were from a survey of Nebraska adults (n = 550) who were asked about their social networks; beliefs about media reliability; use of newspaper and news on TV, radio, and the Internet; and exposure to violence on TV, movies, and the Internet. Results indicated that viewing TV violence predicted worry and anger about crime. Believing the media are a reliable source of information about crime predicted more anger and more support for the justice system. Personal and network members’ victimization was also linked to attitudes. Other network contacts, including knowing police or correctional officers or knowing someone who had been arrested or incarcerated, had limited effects. The results support the problem frame and cultivation theses in that media framing and media consumption influence attitudes about crime, as do certain real-world experiences.

Article 11.3

Proctor, J. L., Badzinski, D. M., & Johnson, M. (2002). The impact of media on knowledge and perceptions of Megan's Law. Criminal Justice Policy Review13(4), 356-379.

Using survey data, this research examines the role of media exposure and attention to media on people’s knowledge and perception of a specific criminal justice policy: Megan’s Law. Overall, the results revealed that general knowledge of Megan’s Law is low. Media exposure and attention increased the level of specific knowledge of Massachusetts community notification law but did not have an effect on knowledge of Megan’s Law in general. Attention to crime in the newspaper was related to both support for Megan’s Law and belief in its effectiveness. The low level of variability in support, however, suggests that community notification is an across-the-board popular policy, even among people with minimal media exposure and who pay little attention to crime in the news.

Article 11.4

Donovan, K. M., & Klahm IV, C. F. (2015). The role of entertainment media in perceptions of police use of force. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 42(12), 1261-1281.

Scholars have long noted the importance of the media in shaping citizens’ attitudes about crime and justice. Most studies have focused on the impact of news and particularly local TV news, yet Americans spend far more time watching entertainment media. We examine the portrayal of police misconduct in crime dramas, and how exposure to these portrayals affects perceptions of the police. We find that viewers of crime dramas are more likely to believe the police are successful at lowering crime, use force only when necessary, and that misconduct does not typically lead to false confessions. In contrast, perceptions regarding the frequency of force are unaffected. Our results add to a growing literature demonstrating the importance of entertainment media for attitudes toward crime and the criminal justice system.