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Crime and the Media

2. Fictional Representations of Crime

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About this Lecture


In this lecture, we think about fictional representations of crime, focusing in particular on: (i) why crime fiction is a topic of interest for criminologists; (i) two key approaches to analysing fictional representations of crime, namely structuralism and the study of genre; (iii) the wider consequences that crime fiction can have on society, most notably the notion of the CSI effect and the cultural significance of The Wire; (iv) the phenomenon of true crime podcasts and ethical questions around the use of real crime cases for entertainment purposes.


In this course, Dr Francesca Menichelli (University of Surrey) explores the relationship between crime and the media. In the first lecture, we think about depictions of crime in news media and the factors that shape which incidents of crime are selected to appear in the news. In the second lecture, we look at crime fiction, its influence on how people think about crime, and how it is studied by scholars. In the third lecture, we consider research into media effects and the notion that the media can cause crime. Next, we turn to moral panics. In the fifth and final lecture, we think about media representations of victims and offenders and how these are informed by factors such as ethnicity, gender and class.


Dr Francesca Menichelli is Lecturer in Criminology at the University of Surrey. Her research focuses on crime prevention, policing and social control, and her teaching covers a broad range of criminological issues. She is author of Order and Conflict in Public Space (2016).

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Menichelli, F. (2021, August 23). Crime and the Media - Fictional Representations of Crime [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Menichelli, F. "Crime and the Media – Fictional Representations of Crime." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 23 Aug 2021,

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