How the Media Takes Advantage of Violent Crime


The media is a place that can be both good and bad. It is a place where we can see the news. But like everything else, the media needs to sell its newspapers. Ans when newspapers need to be sold, fear comes in.

I would like to start by asking a question. What would you rather buy, a newspaper talking about safety, or a newspaper talking about murder? I, like many others, would chose murder. This is why the media takes advantage of it. Why did I chose murder? I chose it because it could affect me. Everyone wants to feel safe. That's why when something like a gang or a crime is on the news, we want to know more about it. But something like fear is easy to strike in our hearts. The media often uses fear to sell their papers, often exagerating stories. Violent crime at its highest in ten years could be Violent crime has a spike after a century of lowering. Gang war in Beeston could be Gangs start around Beeston.

Things like this makes us want to buy it. The technical term for this is hyperbole- 'exaggerated statements or claims' according to the Oxford Dictionary. Across the year, you will see more and more newspapers starting to do this. Even the weekly competition ( Weekly Competition #18) wants us to be aware of hyperbole, it wants us to spot hyperbole.

And this isn't just broadsheets either either. Tabloids like The Sun and the Daily Mirror have also used this technique of selling. The Sun wrote '1,200 killed by Mental patients', but upon further inspection, this was from the 60's till today and not just last year. The Daily Mirror wrote '75 killed by terrorist in a truck' when in reality those 75 murders were not just the terrorist in the truck, but the terrorists in fourteen years. And although 75 murders in 14 years is a lot, it is not nearly as much as 75 murders in a single day. If it was, in 14 years, 373,800 people would have been killed. That is a story. And furthermore, many of the kills were not in fact kills, but were minor to major injuries.

Other papers such as 'Great Britain or Great Betrayal' and 'English Slaughter' have also been circulating and although many of the people reading this will think that these newspapers do not get many sales, in truth, it is the opposite. The Sun sold just under 10 million papers with a further 30 million read online.

How Can We Avoid This?

There are many ways we can sort the truth from the false, for example, if any value given in a newspaper about murders or crime seemes too high, it is probabl fake. If any newspaper says that England is getting less safe, it is a lie (I am sure you have seen the video stating that Brazil is 30x greater in crime). If any newspaper says that the police are not doing their part or says that the government is doing their part, that is a complete miscarriage of information.

Ways of preventing fake news before it begins are here too.

One way of preventing it is by not buying the fake news (how to find out if it is fake news is mentioned above). This would mean that the newspapers will notice that fake news is not getting sold as much as the real news and they will start to change their new

Another, easier, way of preventing fake news is by spreading the word. If everyone knew what fake news was, then there would not be fake news.

Information and souces:

(newspaper sales for the Sun)

(Definition of hyperbole)

All of the stories mention in this post can be found at (The Sun) (The Daily Mirror)

Comments (3)

  • Olivia-Avatar.jpg Olivia @ Topical Talk
    21 Jan 2019

    A great post which really explores the BNC skill, scpeticism. Well done for challenging what you have read and asking yourself (and others) questions to get them thinking. Well done! I wonder if anyone else has some advice to give about avoiding fake news?

    Reply to this comment
    1. The-Ruth-Gorse-logo-250x250.jpg balanced_singer | The Ruth Gorse Academy | United Kingdom
      Olivia @ Topical Talk's comment 19 Feb 2019

      To avoid a fake news story you should ask yourself, is the news recent? Also if the news is from a place like Wikipedia, anybody could change it. Another thing to think about is if, when you look at other sources are they all similar. If one is anomalous, don't take it into account, in your research. Furthermore, you should also look at the author of the piece, and think about if they're well known or if they specialize in that issue. Therefore, if the author is someone from the BBC you can assume that they are trustworthy. Is the information backed up with evidence? is another question you should be asking yourselves. Owing to the fact that, if it isn't the author may or may not be plainly giving their opinion on the subject. Also, if you are unsure about something written on newspapers, you can always Google it; however, this may not always be 100% reliable for the fact that there are a lot of different websites. One of the easiest ways to avoid the trap of fake news to begin with may seem obvious.
      Another Link:
      Another thing to take into account is the source of your information. If the content showed up in your social media feed or was promoted on a website known for clickbait, proceed with caution. Do you notice splling erors [sic], lots of ALL CAPS, or dramatic punctuation?!?!?! If so, try to avoid this news. Also,you should think about: is the information available on other sites? If not, then it's very unlikely that it's true information.

      Reply to this comment
  • The-Ruth-Gorse-logo-250x250.jpg humorous_solution | The Ruth Gorse Academy | United Kingdom
    22 Jan 2019

    I agree with you because the media only includes bad news in their picks and leaves the positive news just to create fear and get people to buy and read their newspapers.

    Reply to this comment

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