The Portrayal of Crime in Media

Posted by vm64 at May 05, 2011 09:30 AM |
Relationship between media and crime analysed in University of Leicester’s public lecture on 11 May

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 05 May 2011

A free public lecture at the University of Leicester will analyse the representation of crime in the media and the impact it has on public’s perception of crime issues.  

In his lecture on Wednesday, 11 May, Professor Peter King from the University’s School of Historical Studies will demonstrate the remarkable power of the media in shaping our ideas about crime and punishment and present the historical parallels in crime reporting across time. 

Hosted by the Department of Media and Communication, the lecture will firstly look at the pattern of newspaper-created moral panics about violent street crime, which can be traced as far back as the mid-eighteenth century.

Professor King said, “I will illustrate this by comparing the pattern and rhythm of a panic in the English provincial town of Colchester in 1756 with a very similar event that happened in New York in 1976.”

In addition, Professor King will talk about his current work on the selective nature of newspaper reporting of crime, where he will look at the massive reporting of a murder by the Kennedy brothers in the 1770s.

Professor King explained:

“Although convicted and sentenced to hang, the brothers were reprieved and escaped the gallows because their two sisters were mistresses of two of the very highest men in the government. The newspapers then reported how opposition politicians and government ones tried to bribe the widow of the murdered man either to prosecute, or in the government’s case, not to do so.”

The lecture entitled “Newspaper reporting of crime and its impact in late eighteenth and early nineteenth century London” is taking place on Wednesday, 11 May, at 3.30pm in the Attenborough Building Lecture Theatre 3. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Notes to Editors:

For more information, please contact:

Professor Peter King


Tel: 0116 252 2760

Violetta Mertins

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