Media coverage and public understanding of sentencing policy in relation to crimes against children

Berry, M., Philo, G. , Tiripelli, G., Docherty, S. and Macpherson, C. (2012) Media coverage and public understanding of sentencing policy in relation to crimes against children. Criminology and Criminal Justice, 12(5), pp. 567-591. (doi: 10.1177/1748895811432956)

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This research examines how the media report on sentences given to those who commit serious crimes against children and how this impacts on public knowledge and attitudes. Three months of press and television coverage were analysed in order to establish the editorial lines that are taken in different sections of the media and how they are promoted by selective reporting of sentencing. Results indicate that a small number of very high profile crimes account for a significant proportion of reporting in this area and often, particularly in the tabloid press, important information regarding sentencing rationale is sidelined in favour of moral condemnation and criticism of the judiciary. Polling data indicate that public attitudes are highly critical of sentencing but also confused about the meaning of tariffs. The article concludes by discussing what can be done to promote a more informed public debate over penal policy in this area.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Tiripelli, Dr Giuliana and Docherty, Ms Stevie and Philo, Professor Gregory
Authors: Berry, M., Philo, G., Tiripelli, G., Docherty, S., and Macpherson, C.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences
Journal Name:Criminology and Criminal Justice
Published Online:14 February 2012
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2012 The Authors
First Published:First published in Criminology and Criminal Justice 12(5):567-591
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
544771Media Coverage of sentencing & public understanding.Gregory PhiloNational Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC)UNSPECIFIEDSPS - SOCIOLOGY