Tips for Crime Reporting
Readers or listeners often want an explanation of why crimes happen. They ask: "Could it happen to me?" -The News Manual, Crime Reporting
Though, as we've already established in this class, the news has a tendency of making people more paranoid than necessary. When consulting the news, the answer to the question "Could it happen to me" is nearly always a resounding yes. Part of this is because the news constantly reports the strange, the unsafe, and the unsettling, so viewers are constantly bombarded with these images. If one of the few connections an elderly person has to the outside world is the news, then it is easy to see how they would think these things are very common, when in fact, the news is constantly reporting things out of the norm.
Criminals take risks and face punishment if they are caught. This may make them fascinating to read about.
Well, true, but I'm not sure this should be under the "Why Report Crime" section. It's more...a lucky benefit for the paper than a reason. It makes everyone sound a little sadistic, doesn't it? "Well, if the person is being punished, then, heck yeah I'll read about him. Hm. Fascinating." Of course, this is still true, no matter how strange it seems in print. My point is, however, the other reasons for reporting crime are so much more valid, that this doesn't seem to belong in the category.
( "But they may also be interested in the story of a sneak thief who broke into a poor widow's home and killed her much-loved cat". Wow. Thanks for that cheerful scenario. I'm sure we'll all keep our eyes out for such a lucky scene. Geesh.)