Criminal Justice and Media

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Updated: Mar 28, 2022
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The relation between Media and Criminal Justice has been a rough one at best as the way they both achieve success directly opposes each other. The media feeds off the injustices of the Criminal Justice system and any minor or major mistakes made in the process. The media seeks out anything it can to demonize the criminal justice system in their attempt “provide the public the truth”. On the flip side, the Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement system attempts to limit information given to the public so assumptions are made.

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In this paper I will be discussing the view from both sides and trying to find a common ground.

The association between media and the Criminal Justice system has always been a rough one. Although the purpose of both is to serve the public. The job of the media is to provide the truth to the public and represent the freedom of the press. The purpose of the Criminal Justice system is to protect the rights and freedom that belongs to every United States citizen. Yet while both seek to serve the people they’re on opposite sides of the field.

The media gains success through popular and controversial stories that will gain a lot of a attention. This is one of the main reasons they, by nature, oppose the Criminal Justice system. Stories about how corrupt and evil the Criminal Justice system is are the stories that gain the most attention and therefore net the most money. It’s the stories like this that sway public opinion of the Criminal Justice system in a negative direction.

All aspects of Criminal Justice are judged by the media. Whether it be the actions of American Law Enforcement or the outcomes of federal court cases. Often these views portrayed by the media are often exaggerated and can be very damaging to a Criminal Justice professional’s career. This is especially true if the person who views the media has little to no information on the actual Criminal Justice system.

Lawyers are a crucial aspect in the Criminal Justice system, and often they are portrayed by the media as people willing to do anything to win their case no matter who they are representing. In the past lawyers were represented as hardworking and honest individuals but with the rise of a new generation of people and less strict regulations on what can be portrayed on the media. Various controversial trials such as the OJ Simpson trial or the more recent Trayvon Martin case spiraled public view of lawyers down even more as they appeared to assist criminals in going free. The media is demonizing lawyers for doing their job. In some cases such as the aforementioned Trayvon Martin case or various cases where a burglar sues the owner of the home they’re robbing. These are not the fault of the lawyers; it’s a fault of the Criminal Justice system.

Police officers are the frontline of the Criminal Justice system, striving to protect the freedom and liberty of the people. Today they’re portrayed as incompetent, lazy, and uninterested in doing the right thing. Most of the stories you hear about police officers these days are about how corrupt they are and the injustices that they commit. This can lead to an exponential increase in public distrust of the police if everyone views officers in person with the mindset that the media warped them into. This potentially endangers the lives of police officers as people could view them with a negative stereotype and respond with violence.

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Criminal Justice and Media. (2019, Apr 24). Retrieved from