Race, Ethnicity, and Crime: Alternate Perspectives

By Dianne Williams | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 3. RACE, ETHNICITY AND THE MEDIA

OBJECTIVES
To determine whether society’s view of crime and criminality is distorted by the various forms of media
To determine whether media construction of crime and criminals lead to excessively punitive criminal justice policies
To determine whether the media paints a negative picture of minorities and their involvement in criminal activity
To determine whether media have any influence on public perception of crime

CASE STUDY: O.J. SIMPSON—MEDIA MESS

O.J. Simpson has been a figure in the news for over thirty years. He was hailed as a sports superstar during the seventies and part of the eighties. From the nineties until today, however, he is being called a criminal.

The facts of the case are as follows: On June 12th, 1994, Nicole Brown Simpson, ex wife of O. J. Simpson, and her friend Ron Goldman were murdered. O.J. Simpson was notified of the murders on June 13th, while in Chicago on a business trip. According to the narrative that unfolded during the trial, the course of events in this case was played out as dramatically as in a Hollywood movie.

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