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Crime and the Media

3. Media Effects and Crime

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About this Lecture


In this lecture, we think about media effects and the question of whether the media causes crime, focusing in particular on: (i) early research into media effects in the mid-twentieth century, notably Albert Bandura’s Bobo doll experiment, and the hypodermic needle hypothesis; (ii) some critiques of these early theories of media effects, such as their assumption that all individuals react to media in the same way; (iii) alternative approaches to understanding media effects and crime, such as strain theory and left realism; (iv) recent research into the effects of violent cartoons on children.


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 - Media Effects and Crime [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

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

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