A violent distortion of reality? Sexually violent crime in British tabloid media: prevalence, representation and the role of news values

Carpenter, Rebecca A. (2008) A violent distortion of reality? Sexually violent crime in British tabloid media: prevalence, representation and the role of news values. BSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    This dissertation is essentially aimed at critically examining the way sexually violent crime is reported in the British tabloid media. This includes critically examining the role the representation of sexually violent crime and the role news values play in the construction of such reports. Furthermore, the study is concerned with discovering if sexually violent crime reports are as prevalent as recent years have witnessed. The dissertation uncovers ideas that reinforce the existing views of many academics, in that tabloid newspaper reports into sexually violent crime are often sensationalised and dramatised by the way they are constructed. Furthermore, it appears as though the study shows reports on sexually violent crime are over-represented as previously suggested by other research. It has also been found that some types of sexually violent crime no longer seem to be considered as newsworthy as in previous years. Indeed it seems such crimes as rape and sexual assault have become a 'routine and mundane' story and often lack the 'shock factor'. In the place of these types of crime, paedophilia and sexually violent crimes against children have become the popular choice for the news agenda. Furthermore, it has been determined that news values play a significant role in deciding which sexually violent crime stories are selected for the news agenda and the way in which the reports are constructed. The dissertation employs several methods in order to achieve its aims. A literature review was conducted to critically examine the existing information on news values. A study was conducted into newspapers whereby reports into sexually violent crime were counted in addition to other crime related reports in order to draw comparison. Furthermore, an analysis into the representation of sexually violent crime was undertaken in addition to an analysis of the news values utilised in such reports.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Institute of Criminal Justice Studies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2011 12:48
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:14
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/571

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