ERIC Number: ED451310
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Off Balance: Youth, Race & Crime in the News. Building Blocks for Youth.
Dorfman, Lori; Schiraldi, Vincent
This report assesses findings from content analyses on crime news, investigating whether news coverage reflects actual crime trends; how news coverage depicts minorities and crime; and whether news coverage disproportionately depicts minority youth as perpetrators. Data came from searches of criminal justice and communications databases, which yielded 77 articles appropriate for the study. Findings were summarized and condensed, then compared to findings about crime trends reported by law enforcement agencies. Most studies analyzed newspapers, followed by local television. Overall, findings show that depictions of crime in the news are not reflective of either the rate of crime generally, the proportion of violent crime, the proportion of crime committed by people of color, or the proportion of crime committed by youth. The news media, particularly television news, consistently underrepresent white perpetrators and overrepresent minority perpetrators in violent crime stories. Crime is depicted as a series of distinct events unrelated to any broader context. Crime, especially violent crime, is reported out of proportion to its actual occurrence. Few studies examine portrayals of youth on the news. Recommendations for the news media and for child advocates, youth groups, and civil rights organizations are presented. (Contains 160 references.) (SM)
Descriptors: Adolescents, Blacks, Broadcast Journalism, Crime, Mass Media Role, Minority Groups, News Reporting, Racial Bias, Stereotypes, Television, Violence, Youth Problems
Building Blocks for Youth, Youth Law Center, 1010 Vermont Avenue, N.W., Suite 310, Washington, DC 20005-4902. Tel: 202-637-0377. For full text: http://www.buildingblocksforyouth.org.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Annie E. Casey Foundation, Baltimore, MD.; Ford Foundation, New York, NY.; John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Chicago, IL.; Mott (C.S.) Foundation, Flint, MI.; Rockefeller Foundation, New York, NY.; Department of Justice, Washington, DC. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.; Grant (W.T.) Foundation, New York, NY.; Open Society Inst., New York, NY.; Department of Justice, Washington, DC. Bureau of Justice Assistance.
Authoring Institution: Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, Washington, DC. Justice Policy Institute.
Note: Also produced by the Berkeley Media Studies Group, a project of the Public Health Institute. Partners in the Building Blocks for Youth initiative are the Youth Law Center, American Bar Association Juvenile Justice Center, Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, Juvenile Law Center, Minorities in Law Enforcement, National Council on Crime and Delinquency and Pretrial Services Resource Center.