CRIM 205

Crime, Media and Society

Please note: this is archived course information from 2020 for CRIM 205.


Does the media tell us what to think? Does the media increase people’s worries about fear of crime? Why are the audience fascinated with crime and deviance? What exactly is the relationship between the mass media and crime?

The relationship between crime and the media is complex and contradictory. This course investigates this relationship by encouraging students to develop an understanding of how the media help to influence the public views of crime and criminalisation. It will do this by focusing on media portrayals of crime and criminal behaviour, media effects and theories of media and communication. 

By the end of this course, a student should:

  • Understand the impact the media has on crime in society
  • Develop an understanding of how the media communicate with citizens
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how the media can shape/influence public opinion with regard to criminal justice
  • Show how media portrayals or stereotypes are employed to generate fear of crime

To achieve this, this course will cover an introduction and overview to crime, media and society; crime, newsworthiness and news; fear, effects and moral panics; children, young people and the media; women in the media; media portrayals of the criminal justice system; crime watching "entertainment" media; true crime media; serial killers in the media; and, media representations of pornography.

Availability 2020

Semester 1




CRIM 205: 15 points


30 points at Stage I in Law, Media, Film and Television, Psychology, or Sociology