Contrary to the popular belief, media is not responsible for the increase in the rate of crime! There is no doubt that, media has the power to inspire, persuade, and provoke the masses, but criticizing it for the rise in crime, is a sign of ignorance. The critics who disparage the media on the basis of research conducted by a few researchers on samples, ignore the demerits of the methodology of such researchers, and highlight the excerpts which support their prejudice.
Origin of the Prejudice
Before I justify my point of view, you should understand why people have a preconceived notion that media inspires violent behavior, as it promulgates issues which depict violence. People have developed a prejudice against the media, because they believe that the crime rate has increased considerably over the past few years. A perception exists, that the rate of crime is directly proportional to the increase in the media reports pertaining to violence. Presently, almost every individual has access to the media which can give him/her information regarding the acts of violence that have impacted the society. The constant exposure to the stories of violence, might increase aggression, which will lead to violence and crimes eventually.
Moreover, commercialization has led the media to sensationalize stories, and these exaggerated stories highly influence the minds of the masses. This influence might inspire the people to imitate the protagonist in such stories irrespective of his/her acts (violent or non-violent) in the sensationalized story. In addition to this, the exposure to violent video games have found to increase the aggression in some individuals (children and youth). When an asinine psychologically disturbed individual posts a violent video on any popular website, there is a strong possibility that at least one of the viewers will be inspired by such a video, and will be tempted to imitate the act in the video, and this will lead to a crime! As media grows, the exposure to such violent stories has also increased, and it is believed, that such an exposure has inspired a number of people to act violently and commit crimes.
Why Media Should Not Be Accused?
Do you believe that the world was a non-violent place before the growth of media? If yes, let me tell you that historical evidences clearly state the brutal acts of violence by rulers who believed in imperialism! The belief that the crime rate is proportional to the exposure to violent stories is false, as the rate of crime has always been fluctuating, but the reporting of stories of violence by the media, has always been on the rise. So, it is very difficult to establish a relationship between the two. People who have propounded, that media has influenced the crime rate, are biased.
I won't say that such people have an agenda to shadow the merits of media, but they tend to ignore the fact that the growth of media has led to the awareness among the people. Without the media it would never have been possible to witness and realize the atrocities faced by helpless people all over the world, we could never have taken measures to rescue the victims of violence, if we were unaware of their existence. Media does not highlight violence, it has no intention of glorifying criminals, it simply gives attention to the victims of crime.
Earlier, even if the crime rate was high, the awareness of these crimes was less. People never realized that heinous crimes take place everyday, hence they believed that the crime rate is low, but now, the awareness has increased, and as the media tells stories of violence everyday, thus people perceive that the rate of crime has increased! You should realize, that criminals are often driven by psychological factors and traumatic personal experiences, and it is unwise to say that crimes are a result of the negative influence of media. Be pragmatic, do not believe that one or two acts of insanity and violence, will have a butterfly effect!
Is media responsible for increasing crime? Well, now you know the answer. Media has the power to inspire, but you cannot blame it for the birth of criminals. Remember, generally motivation leads to crime, rather than inspiration!