OFF BALANCE: Youth, Race & Crime in the News

Published On: April 1, 2001


The authors in this study examined more than 70 content analyses of newspaper and television crime coverage and found that depictions of crime in the news are not reflective of the rate of crime, the proportion of crime which is violent, the proportion of crime committed by people of color, or the proportion of crime committed by youth. The authors note that the combined distortions of people of color over represented as criminals and underrepresented as victims, young people over-represented as criminals, and the undue coverage of violent crime, produce an inaccurate and unfair image of crime in America. The study concludes with recommendations for the news media to improve crime coverage.

This was created as part of Building Blocks for Youth, a project of the Youth Law Center.

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