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November 1, 2005

It Ain't Necessarily So (Ch 8 & 9) -- News Writing (EL 227)

"But this shorthand summary was somewhat misleading. In fact, we don't really know how many crimes are committed in the United States. All we have is varying counts of how mnay crimes are reported."

This is a very good thing to point out. I don't think I ever really thought about it before. Which means that the authors are doing their jobs right? But seriously. There is NO way to tell how many crimes are committed in America. The only way to get an ESTIMATE is to add up all of the crimes that were reported. Is it a problem though, that Americans are not getting an accurate report of crime? Considering that the crime number is rather high, and there are still committed crimes that are not reported, is it important for them to know the REAL number? Or will it scare them for no reason? I'm not sure.

Posted by CheraPupi at November 1, 2005 3:46 PM


Good point. For a murder, there is a body, and society is motivated to investigate. I think I might have reported to campus police the time my bicycle was stolen, but since it was probably gone for weeks before I even noticed it, I didn't have much motivation to report it, since I figured I'd never see it again, either way.

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at November 2, 2005 3:48 PM

You are right Chera. Actually my dad and I were talking about that very thing last night on the phone. The reports are the ONLY way we can even have a clue. I hope that this book will actually encourage us (and we can in turn encourage others) to report crime when they are a victim or a witness to it. That way, the reports will still be reports, but they will be as accurate as we can get because people aren't afraid of informing police of when a crime occurs. Of course, then there is always the possibility that we might get people reporting false crime. Especially things like rape and abuse. So, it is very much a difficult business.

Posted by: Lorin Schumacher at November 1, 2005 4:37 PM

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