Comparative Content Analysis of Local Crime News

Crime is arguably the most covered media topic today, and because of this, the way crime is presented to the public by the media has become increasingly important. Current available research shows that violent crime is overrepresented, painting a picture that violent crime is constantly happening. This is largely due to media logic and the idea that crime is a high selling story and is easily fit into the media frames already available. This particular project looks to determine if there are differences in the way similar countries media portrays crime. For this comparison I was sure to use two countries similar in culture, laws, and type of government; Australia and the United States. Through qualitative content analysis, I determined that both countries’ local media included an extreme overrepresentation of violent crime. For the purpose of this research violent crime was defined through the UCR definition which includes four crimes in this category; murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault. My coding schematic allowed me to find a percentage of violent crime present in the local news sources. In comparing these numbers with the actual crime statistics, I found the Australian news source to paint a more ‘tabloid’ picture, rather than provide stories with factual evidence. This cumulated into a finished presentation on my work, a poster presentation, as well as future research that is being worked on currently.

  • Paper Presentation
  • Criminal Justice
  • This is a qualitative content analysis of local crime news in two countries; Australia and the United States. The researcher looked to discover differences in the presentation of the news in local media sources.

1 thought on “Comparative Content Analysis of Local Crime News”


    First I would like to say well done on your project. You certainly did a lot of research to see if other countries overrepresent crime in their daily news. I really liked that you decided to choose a different continent to compare versus just comparing different states in the U.S. I have actually been aware of the over representation of crime in our media for a while, but it was interesting to see that in comparison to Australia’s media which also over represents crime happening in order to gain more viewers. I think it would also be cool to look at a comparison of all countries to see which has the most overrepresentation of crime versus their recorded data of crime to see A) who has the most over representation and B) which actually has the most recorded amount of crime for 2019 to get an idea where we are in comparison to everyone else as a whole. Again wonderful research Amy, I really enjoyed the information that you provided in this presentation!
    Caitlin Tyree

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