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Does Media Cause Or Prevent Crime

Gone are the golden days of waiting for the fresh newspaper to hit your front door, the days of gathering around the radio to listen to the President speak and waiting around for the evening news to be updated about news stories happening globally. With the golden age of technology at our fingertips, the amount of knowledge that can be passed to someone is at a moment’s notice. Younger generations might be glued to their phones, but does this mean that they are tuned out from all that is going on? Every large media news outlet can be reached on a young person’s iPhone and can even be set for a notification to appear if something major occurs: Columbine, 9/11, Virginia Tech, etc.

How would one correlate media to crime though? When the Boston bombers were on the run, the media covered the story and the pursuit of these barely known assailants for what seemed like 24/7/365. The only assailant left in this attack was found through the help of social media. Tips to police can be given through text messages, phone calls, or even through hash tag feeds for the digitally inclined. If one hundred people used the hash tag #BostonBomberSubject, someone at the local police precinct could follow the feed to see where the text is coming from and lead police toward the suspect.

Recently, in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania, a man named Eric Frein shot two police officers, fatally injuring Corporal Bryon Dickson who passed away that night. A manhunt took place for 48 days, but he was eventually captured thanks to citizens updating the police as to where they believed he was hiding in the Pocono mountains. The media again was there every step of the way from every angle begging anyone with information on this survivalist fugitive to help bring justice to the Dickson family.

Media has developed well in the past century and one could have only hoped it would have been around for the Lindbergh baby. Media does not only cover the nightly news, but it helps pass word amongst citizens quicker than the town crier. Besides, if not for media, especially in the social aspect, how else would the ALS society have been able to help raise over $100 million for the research of Lou Gehrig’s disease?

Media helps squash crime because in this day and age, suspects understand that they are more than likely going to be not only pursued but also detained. The Lindbergh kidnapping would have been solved quicker and without death if someone would have seen the suspect on the news before they reached his gas station. Bonnie and Clyde would have committed less robberies and murders and the next Unabomber could be detained before causing mass casualties. The world may complain about social media, but no better way exists to bring the world together at a moment’s notice. Media is the biggest contributor to lunchtime conversation and water cooler talk. Any person that has a conversation about any topic comes from the news or social media.

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