Crime and Local Television News
Dramatic, Breaking, and Live From the Scene
Routledge – 2002 – 192 pages
Series: Routledge Communication Series
This volume offers an analysis of crime coverage on local television, exploring the nature of local television news and the ongoing appeal of crime stories. Drawing on the perspectives of media studies, psychology, sociology, and criminology, authors Jeremy H. Lipschultz and Michael L. Hilt focus on live local television coverage of crime and examine its irresistibility to viewers and its impact on society's perceptions of itself. They place local television news in its theoretical and historical contexts, and consider it through the lens of legal, ethical, racial, aging, and technological concerns.
In its comprehensive examination of how local television newsrooms around the country address coverage of crime, this compelling work discusses such controversial issues as the use of crime coverage to build ratings, and considers new models for reform of local TV newscasts. The volume includes national survey data from news managers and content analyses from late night newscasts in a range of markets, and integrates the theory and practice of local television news into the discussion. Lipschultz and Hilt also project the future of local television news and predict the impact of social and technological changes on news.
As a provocative look at the factors and forces shaping local news and crime coverage, Crime and Local Television News makes an important contribution to the discussions taking place in broadcast journalism, mass communication, media and society, and theory and research courses. It will also interest all who consider the impact of local news content and coverage.
"…a much-needed contribution to the field of TV broadcast journalism….The authors' interdisciplinary approach should inspire other researchers to utilize various social science approaches to address what has become the 'bleeding' lifeblood of many local TV news operations."
—Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly
"…the book is well edited….The application of mass-media research to crime coverage is especially well explained. Annotated and clearly written, this text is a fresh alternative to mass media surveys….Highly recommended for journalism, television news, criminology, and mass communications collections and for classroom use. All levels."
"The authors address how and why local television news covers crime….They raise crucial issues about the consequences of local television coverage for race relations."
—Sage Race Relations Abstracts
"This book provides a good overview of how local television news presents crime. Its coverage of certain overlooked topics and the presentation of some original research make it worth reading."
Contents: D. Potter, Foreword. Preface. Introduction to Local Television News. Theory and Research on Crime News. Crime News as Ratings Builders. Legal Aspects of Crime News Coverage. Ethics. Coverage of the Courts, Prisons, and Capital Punishment. Case Study: Three Nebraska Executions. Minorities and Crime News. Crime News and the Elderly. Television and the Future of Local Crime News.