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Scooped Media Miss Real Story on Crime While Chasing Sex, Sleaze, and Celebrities cover
  • ISBN: 9780231102926
  • ISBN10: 0231102925

Scooped Media Miss Real Story on Crime While Chasing Sex, Sleaze, and Celebrities

by David J. Krajicek

  • List Price: $95.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Columbia Univ Pr
  • Publish date: 04/01/1998
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Description
Why do Americans know so much about "celebrity" criminals like Joey Buttafuoco and so little about crime? If crime is down, why is there so much mayhem on television news and in the newspapers? Why have respected news organizations followed the tabloid pied piper to the margins of legitimacy? Do politicians really believe that draconian sentences and more prisons will eliminate crime? These and other questions are explored in Scooped!, which attempts to make sense of crime, crime news, and crime policy in America.

Scooped! traces the impact of the tabloid contagion that began to spread with the appearance in 1986 of "A Current Affair", Rupert Murdoch's trend-setting television program that trafficked "in stories about love triangles, sex fiends, and naughty girls, the bacon and eggs of the British tabloid breakfast".

David Krajicek, a former crime reporter, concludes that while the media increasingly focused on trivial sleaze, celebrity scandals, and gruesome but unrepresentative crimes, it neglected a far more important crime story: the collapse of the American criminal justice system as a cost-efficient, equitable deterrent. He argues that crime trends and crime policy have little to do with one another; it is no wonder, Krajicek writes, that Americans are confused and frightened about what to do about real threats to law and order.

Krajicek shows that tabloid distractions drew journalists away from the substantive reporting that could have given a more accurate image of crime during the past decade. Instead, stories about a "society under siege" led to panic about lawlessness, and politicians -- playing their customary role -- stepped in with the usual "solutions": morearrests, more prisons, longer sentences.

Krajicek challenges each journalist -- from publisher to reporter -- to take responsibility for his or her work, and calls on the media to more closely examine crime policy and hold politicians responsible for legislation that doesn't work.

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