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Crime and the media

Offer semester
2nd semester

Lecture time
Thursday 10.30am – 12.20pm

Lecture venue

Course description

The media plays a particularly influential role on the public’s conceptions of crime and order. This course is designed to look at the ways in which the media shapes our ideas and responses to crime. The course examines representations of crime in different news media forms and theoretical explanations for why crime is portrayed in particular ways.

The course will also look at the representation of crime in popular culture and the entertainment industry.

Course learning outcomes

  • Identify ways crimes are represented in different media forms;
  • Describe key concepts and theories that help explain how media shapes our ideas and responses to crime;
  • Demonstrate their understanding of a particular chosen crime issue by engaging in intensive, independent researched reflective writing;
  • Analyse why their chosen crime issue is portrayed in a particular ways;
  • Critically evaluate on such media representations;
  • Synthesize and inspire discussions on current issues and problems related to new media technology’s impact on crime and the media.


Individual Portfolio35%
Oral presentation and tutorial participation25%

Required reading

Partial listing:

Surette, R. (2015). Media, crime, and criminal justice: images, realities, and policies Stamford, Connecticut Cengage Learning (selected chapters).

Additional required readings will be listed on the course syllabus.

Recommended reading

Marsh, I. and Gaynor M. (2009) Crime, justice and the media. New York, NY: Routledge (HKU eBook).

Shoemaker, P., & Reese, S. D. (2011). Mediating the message. Routledge.

Course co-ordinator and teachers