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The construction of race and crime in Canadian print media: A 30-year analysis 

Author(s)Collins, Rachael E.
Title The construction of race and crime in Canadian print media: A 30-year analysis
Source Criminology and Criminal Justice, Published online before print February 2013, pp1-23
Date 2013
Document type Journal article


Summary In this study the author examines portrayals of crime, offenders, and victims in newspapers to determine if there is a systematic bias in the language used to depict crime based on race. Examination of 1,190 crime reports showed that language promoting excessive violence has increased significantly over the last thirty years. It was also found that the race of the offender significantly predicted the probability that the offender's occupation was mentioned. The race of the victim mentioned in the article was also found to impact on the language. Articles describing white victims were more likely to contain language implying fear, mention excessive violence or mention the offender's criminal history. One of the biggest differences in portrayals of white and non-white victims was that newspapers often alleged gang connections if the victim was not white, particularly if the victim was an Aboriginal. Through the language used and by giving less media attention, newspaper accounts often portrayed victims who are non-white as less deserving.
Keywords Media; fear of crime; bias; race; language
Topic Media