– Select 8 newspaper stories about 1 type of violent crime (murder, rape, sexual abuse, or some other form of interpersonal violence). Stories must be about real crime incidents. (try to pick newspaper stories about Baltimore crime)
– There should be NO MORE THAN 2 STORIES on the SAME CRIME EVENT. No editorial articles should be used.
– The newspaper stories should be significant in length and NOT one paragraph blurbs.
– TASK: analyze what is presented in each news story and search for patterns. The FOCUS should be on how violence is reported to the public, more than on the crimes themselves.
– Simple summaries of the news stories are insufficient. You want to compare the structure of the crime news across cases. Begin with a careful discussion of your sampling strategy.
– Sampling Strategy:
– Why did you select the cases for analysis that you did?
– Then address the following: (1) How is violence constructed for the reading public? (2) What kinds of descriptions are given about the violence? (3) What words are used to describe what occurred? (4) How graphic are the stories? (5) What is the image of the perpetrators or the victims conveyed? (6) How much detail is provided about the circumstances of the violence? Any information on where the acts occurred? (7) Are there any myths about the violence that are perpetuated? (8) What do the articles state about why the crimes happened?
– FINALLY, what two theories would you use to explain this form of interpersonal violence? Significant discussion of the two other theories is required. Mere mention of theories is inadequate.
– CONCLUSION: talk about —> (1) What impact do you think the stories might have on fear of crime and on violent behavior for those who read them? (2) How do you think the articles might shape what the public thinks about violence? (3) What do you think the articles should have told readers that was not included? (4) How do you assess and feel about how the media reports violence?
THE PAPER SHOULD INCLUDE: (Double spaced, 12 pt font, APA format, Times new Roman)
– (1) An introduction of the issue and statement of the problem being studied
– (2) A rich discussion of your research methodology (why you selected the items you did and how you analyzed the data?
– (3) A discussion of your findings or the results of the research (can organize the discussion by using a case study approach such as Story 1, 2….)
– (4) A conclusion where you discuss implications
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