Media and Juvenile Delinquency

We just got the exciting news that our article on Dutch media coverage of youth crime was accepted for publication by Journalism!

Media and Juvenile Delinquency: A study into the relationship between journalists, politics and public

Nel Ruigrok, Wouter van Atteveldt, Sarah Gagestein, Carina Jacobi

Abstract: Between 2007 and 2011, the number of registered juvenile suspects declined by 44% but the Dutch public did not feel any safer. In this research we study media coverage of youth crime and interview journalists and their sources, in order to investigate the relationship between journalists, their sources and the possible effects on the public with respect to fear of crime. We find an overrepresentation of youth crime in news coverage, especially in the popular press, and a stronger episodic focus over time. All media focus increasingly on powerful sources that focus on repressive framing, but this is especially found in the elite press. We conclude that news coverage in all media groups, although in different ways, does contribute to the fear of crime in society and the idea that repressive measures are needed. The fact that this fear of crime is also caused by news coverage is acknowledged, but neither journalists nor politicians are able or willing to change this.