Media and Crime: A Comparative Analysis of Crime News in the UK, Norway and Italy
Cere, Rinella, Yvonne Jewkes and Thomas Ugelvik (2014): "Media and Crime: A Comparative Analysis of Crime News in the UK, Norway and Italy." The Routledge Handbook of European Criminology. S. Body-Gendrot, M. Hough, K. Kerezsi, R. Lévy and S. Snacken (eds). London & New York: Routledge.
21 Pages Posted: 1 Feb 2015
Date Written: January 29, 2015
Our aim in this chapter is to focus on news media, and to provide an overview of the ways in which some crimes are reported in some media in three different European countries: the UK, Norway and Italy . First, we will briefly map out the history and current terrain of the media landscape in each of the three countries. Second, we will explore news values and the aspects of crime that make it inherently ‘newsworthy’. Using Yvonne Jewkes’ (2004/2011) analysis of twelve cardinal news values that underpin the reporting of crime, victimization and justice in the UK – itself developed from a classic study of Norwegian news values first published by Johan Galtung and Mari Holmboe Ruge in 1965 – we will discuss the news values adhered to by media professionals. Following this, we will consider the reporting in each country of a single crime that shocked audiences around the world: the killing of 77 people in Norway on 22nd July 2011. Although an ‘extreme’ offence and therefore in many ways atypical (if any offence can be regarded as ‘typical’) this case illustrates two issues we think worth highlighting. First, it demonstrates the salience of the values that determine a potential story’s perceived newsworthiness. Second, it illustrates some of the subtle discrepancies underpinning crime news reporting in the UK, Norway and Italy, which themselves reflect broader social, cultural and political differences between the three countries, thus implicitly reminding us that there have been other atrocities that have not had the level of attention devoted to them that the murders in Oslo and on Utøya Island did in 2011.
Keywords: Crime and media, news values, Utøya terrorist attack
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