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The Victimization of WomenLaw, Policies, and Politics$
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Michelle L. Meloy and Susan L. Miller

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199765102

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199765102.001.0001

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Media, Gender, and Crime Victims

Media, Gender, and Crime Victims

(p.69) 4 Media, Gender, and Crime Victims
The Victimization of Women

Michelle L. Meloy

Susan L. Miller

Oxford University Press

Mainstream media sources are one of our most influential storytellers. Public sentiment regarding women, crime, and victimization is directly influenced by the media's linguistics, visual images, and case selection and by the gendered nature of the profession. These factors express causality, establish or reestablish social norms, present ways of interpreting certain events, and affect how these variables exert an impact on women's daily lives. This chapter describes the media's fascination with and representation of some crimes of violence committed against women and children. It also addresses victim myths, as disseminated by mainstream media, and how language plays a powerful role in inflaming passions about victimization events. Moreover, it examines the media's overreliance on crime stories in their broadcasts, and ways in which the industry's organizational priorities impact crime reporting. It concludes with examples of how accurate and responsible media reporting can legitimize the existence of social problems, increase public awareness and education, and empower crime victims.

Keywords:   media, women, children, victimization, crimes of violence, crime reporting, crime stories, crime victims

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