chapter  33
13 Pages

Media and crime

Interrogating the violence of representation
WithEamonn Carrabine

This chapter begins by charting some of the profound consequences a global, digital market place is having on media industries, blurring the boundaries between news and entertainment, professional and amateur journalism, while opening up novel forms of visual language in cyberspace. It then explains how a rich strain of theoretical writing has emerged that has taken issue with the orthodox positions taken in the debates surrounding the politics of representation in documentary. The chapter explores how some contemporary practitioners have questioned the camera's role as a credible eyewitness. The critical examination of the complex relationships between media and crime is now a well-established area in criminology. Much of the research has been dominated by an 'effects' tradition that was developed by psychologists and sociologists. Despite all the contradictions running through the tradition, the desire to bear witness to the suffering and violence of the age remains paramount, especially in those places where seeing is not simple.