chapter  9
20 Pages

The Media’s Role

This chapter examines the ways in which the mass media and their self-interested sources help to shape the public's perception of risk and their orientations toward the public policy options that have been carefully prepared for their passive consumption. Public servants were supposed to be committed to the public interest, but the media's emphasis on their strategic maneuvers led to the conclusion that their own self-interest was the driving force. Public impressions of crime, criminals, and the nature of risks to themselves and to others can be derived from entertainment, as well as news, or informational media. The major focus of media-related theories emphasize the training and philosophical orientation of the journalists and their editors. An analysis of media coverage of state level debates surrounding the extent and legal status of racial profiling at the state and local level was done in order to identify differences among the states in their assessment of this crime control technology.