The different platforms producing news are newspapers, television, radio and internet. Three quarters (76%) of the public say, they form their opinions about crime from what they see or read in the news (Dorfman & Schiraldi:2001). The report will be focused on (The Guardian:2018) and (The Daily Mail:2018) newspapers and crime story represented by both. The report will analyse why this story became news, using the 12 news values proposed by (Jewkes: 2014) and then will outline the difference on how this crime is represented by them.
Most people rely on media to gain knowledge about crime and the focus of crime on news has become intriguing because it offers the reader an escape from daily life and discussion of morality. Nevertheless, different outlets use different methods to promote their stories as for instance television focuses mainly on images and video. (Reiner:2002) argues that media’s over-concentration on violence can be reason for increasing crime by media contributing in shaping the events as deviant and by how media could be seen as a source for new techniques to use by criminals. Same as the possibility of media to increase crime by negative representation of criminal justice. (Reiner:2002) argues that people who fear are more easy to be manipulated and controlled by the media. The story chosen for this report is regarding a man who murdered a transgender woman in a hotel room near an airport and later called his girlfriend to help him hide the crime. The victim, Naomi Hersi and Jessy McDonald met in an online dating site and have spent four days taking drugs and having sex.
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The second paragraph will analyse the process of the story becoming news, using the 12 news values that shape crime news proposed by (Jewkes:2014). Newsworthiness is measured by news values, which help the journalists and editors to decide which stories to
choose. Often news are based on ”people and events, rather than abstract issues and debates”(Greer:2013). The story chosen can be defined as having the predictability value as it is an unusual event as for instance that Jessy had sex with a transgender woman even if he had a female girlfriend. The sex value applies strongly to the story as it is seen as main reason for the victim and the offender to meet. The risk value emphasises the story as it creates anxiety as meeting people online is something common nowadays, same as spending a night in a hotel near airport, which means it can happen to anyone. The proximity of the story can be defined by the locations around us, such as the supermarkets they visited, the hotel room, being close to Heathrow airport. This could create anxiety particularly in readers living or working around this geographical location and make them feel unsafe. A strong value that emphasises for the worthiness of the story is violence as Hersi was being stabbed 58 times. Conservative ideology defines actions against people’s values which applies to the story starting with the use of drugs, the murder, trying to cover up with the help of Jessy’s girlfriend, offering a designer watch to seek help. The individualism is another key value that applies as it is very personalised in a way that online dating is used as a common dating option amongst younger population. The graphic imagery used is not one of the primary values to shape this story and does not show violent context, however one of the newspapers have used a lot of images to promote this story. Children and celebrity values do not apply to this story as all characters are adults and no famous people participated. The simplification value does not apply to the murder story used in this report because it is not a short and simple story and it involves number of people involved. Threshold does not apply either as the story is not a petty crime and it is significantly important.
Producing news is a complex process, which is formed by interactions between journalists and editors with organizations that provide the information, and on which are based their stories. (The Guardian:2018) is a broadsheet, started in 1821 in Manchester. As a broadsheet it aims to be informative and the readers it attracts are middle age professionals. (The Daily Mail:2018) is a tabloid, created in 1896 in London. It gained popularity by covering foreign news and it’s coverage appeals to the mass readership. Recent statistic shows that (The Daily Mail:2018) had a circulation of 1.26 million copies and (The Guardian:2018) 138.08.
Comparing how both stories are presented, it can be seen that (The Guardian:2018) used short title, the text is short itself and there is only one image used, whereas (The Guardian:2018) used a long title, adding bullet points below the title, also the text is long and detailed, and there are many images used. (The Daily Mail:2018) goes into great details as the murder weapon was ”the knife he used to chop up the hashish he sold”,information about the financial situation of Jessy, same as his interest in tennis and the designer watch he offered to the hotel owner in order to seek help. None of this information was mentioned in the other outlet. (The Guardian:2018) used (Press Association:2018) publisher, which is UK’s leading provider of multimedia content and services and (The Daily Mail:2018) a private publisher which makes the first one more accurate.
To conclude, at any time in the world happens something that could be potential news and the process of a story becoming news is very complex. Primary theory used to measure this is proposed by (Jewkes:2014). Lastly, based on the report, the newspaper preferred for this story is (The Guardian:2018) because it avoids bias as it explains the story simple without making the reader create an opinion based on what is highlighted by the newspaper. When reading both newspapers, the
presentation of (The Guardian:2018) is easier to follow. (The Guardian:2018) does not seem subjective when telling the story, whether (The Daily Mail:2018) points into details about the murderer that could easy form an opinion that the character is more likely to commit a crime, making it easier to contribute to public perceptions of crime. As (The Daily Mail:2018) aims to attract the mass readers, this is to say the details used in the story are to attract the interest of more readers overall.
Circulation of newspapers in the United Kingdom (UK) as of June 2018 (in 1, 0. (2018). UK newspapers ranked by circulation 2018 | Statistic. online Statista. Available at: https://www.statista.com/statistics/529060/uk-newspaper-market-by-circulation/ Accessed 15 Nov. 2018.
Dorfman, L. and Schiraldi, V. (2001). Off balance. Washington, DC: Building Blocks For Youth.
Hale, C., Hayward, K., Wahidin, A. and Wincup, E. (2013). Criminology. 3rd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 143-163.
Jewkes, Y. (2014). Media and crime. Johanneshov: MTM.
Mail Online. (2018). Dropout tortured and killed transgender lover in frenzied stabbing. online Available at: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6320629/University-dropout-tortured-killed-transgender-lover-frenzied-stabbing.html Accessed 15 Nov. 2018.
PA. (2018). PA – powering storytelling on any platform. online Available at: https://www.pressassociation.com Accessed 15 Nov. 2018.
Reiner, R. (2002). Media made criminality: The representation of crime in the mass media. In: Reiner, Robert and Maguire, Mike and Morgan, Rod, (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Criminology. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK, pp. 302-340
The Guardian. (2018). Man murdered transgender woman after sex and drugs binge, court told. online Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/sep/25/man-murdered-naomi-hersi-three-day-sex-and-drugs-old-bailey-told Accessed 15 Nov. 2018.