Subject to this is the creation of fear within the public as a response to the media. Exposure to violent media has also been found to contribute to the development of the “mean world syndrome” — a view of the world as more hostile and dangerous than it actually is (Gerbner, 1994). This can lead to identifying threats within society as well as suggesting that due to media’s exaggeration of violence and crime, perceptions of crime and harm are not realistic and are instead distorted. This also links to what Reiner (2007) mentions how the media mainly focuses and portrays violence in the ‘worst cases.’ This relates to media’s over-reporting violent and sexual cases as well as the exaggeration is used to entertain and captivate an audience- not just inform.
The concept of ‘moral panic’ is a term connected with Stan Cohen and it relates to the ways in which the mass media creates fear and concern within groups of people in society, making people feel threatened by something. The media provokes fear through ‘exaggeration and distortion,’ whether this is by ‘sensational and melodramatic language’ or exaggerated violent behaviour (Newburn 2017).
When looking at the role of the media in shaping views on crime and harm it is important to understand the nature of ‘newsworthiness.’ Understanding crime coverage, there is a criterion, which needs to be met in order for content to be shared. This relates to the significance of the media with regards to the content they share with people; questioning the impact it will have on an audience and the ways in which it can influence people’s views especially with relation to crime and harm.
Social media has become a massive platform that influences people of all ages in today’s society. It is is constantly being consumed whether this is consciously or subconsciously. As a form of communication, information is shared instantly with people interacting and sharing opinions. As news travels fast it is