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Media and crime

Offer semester
2nd semester

Lecture time
Tuesday 7:00pm – 10:00pm

Lecture venue
Jockey Club Tower, Rm929

Course description

The media is said to play a vital part in facilitating the public’s conceptions of crime – shaping people’s images, heightening their fears and anxieties over particular “types of people and behavior,” and demanding policymakers and politicians to do “something about it.” Consequently, these demands to “do something” shape social control policies. This course is designed to look at the different ways media shape our ideas and responses to crime by examining the local popular press, international media and the entertainment industry.

The overall objective is to provide students with a better understanding of the ways in which crime is constructed in the news and in popular culture. It is also designed to facilitate a critical and questioning stance as to why crime and crime control are constructed in particular ways in different media like newspapers, television, movies and new media.

Course learning outcomes

By the end of the course, students should:

  • Recognize how the media assembles crime and criminal justice stories, especially in relation to particular types of behaviours and peoples;
  • Explain and apply theories about the media’s role in the definition and construction of crime and social control responses;
  • Demonstrate understanding of a particular chosen crime issue by engaging in intensive, independent researched portfolio writing;
  • Synthesize, design and inspire discussions on current issues and problems related to new media’s impact on our understanding of crime.


Individual Portfolio40%
In class midterm test25%
Group project35%

Course co-ordinator and teachers