Tabloid Justice: Criminal Justice in an Age of Media Frenzy

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Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2007 - Law - 251 pages
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praise for the 1st edition:?A much needed exploration into media coverage and audience reaction to high-profile criminal cases.... Clearly written and accessible.? ?Diana Owen, Political Science Quarterly?A timely, provocative, and data-rich study.? ?Scott L. Althaus, Harvard International Journal of Press/Politics?A very useful primer on the ?tabloidization? of news.... The authors? statistical evidence is accessible and convincing.? ?Thomas Shevory, Law and Politics Book ReviewThis new edition of Tabloid Justice reveals that, although the media focus on high-profile criminal trials is thought by many to have diminished in the years since the September 11 terrorist attacks, the polarized, partisan coverage of these trials has in fact intensified. The authors investigate the profoundly negative impact of the media?s coverage of the criminal justice system?coverage that frequently highlights and aggravates the deepest divisions in US society.Features of the new edition include results of a recent national poll, richer demographic data, and discussion of the blogosphere?s rising significance. Thorough analysis of recent tabloid cases (featuring Kobe Bryant, Michael Jackson, Dennis Kozlowski, Scott Peterson, and Martha Stewart) provides a contemporary window on the tactics of a media driven by profit to the detriment of political and legal principles.Richard L. Fox is associate professor of political science at Union College. He is author of Gender Dynamics in Congressional Elections. Robert W. Van Sickel is assistant professor of political science at Indiana State University. He is author of Not a Particularly Different Voice: The Jurisprudence of Sandra Day O?Connor. Thomas L. Steiger is professor of sociology at Indiana State University. His publications include Life?s Social Journey (with Diana Grimes) and Rethinking the Labor Process (coedited with Peter Meiksins).Contents: Introduction: A Time of Tabloid Justice. Looking for This Week?s ?Trial of the Century.? The Mainstream Media Go Tabloid. Tabloid Justice and the Evolution of New Media. Public Opinion, Trial Coverage, and Faith in the Criminal Justice System. Race, Gender, Class, and Tabloid Justice. Is There Any Escape from Tabloid Justice?

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R1: Tabloid Justice strives to determine how high-profile legal proceedings have been covered and the changes that have come with an expanding media culture, and whether or not this coverage has had an impact on the public’s overall knowledge and attitudes toward the legal system. The authors conclude that media influence, although having the potential to raise public awareness and increase knowledge of the legal system, tends to focus more on inciting emotional responses in viewers and often leads to unrealistic expectations of the actors and policies of the justice system. Overall, the book is a valuable resource which raises some important issues. The book is organized for quick referencing and covers a wide range of topics. I would recommend this book as a starting point for research as it provides a good guide for further research.
Reviewed by: MEGAN GILLETT
R2: This book focuses its attention on six major criminal cases from the 1990s, arguing that it is during this period that mainstream mass media went ‘tabloid’. As a result of the commercialization and sensationalized nature of these high-profile trials/cases, the authors believe that more civics-oriented news coverage is being rendered seemingly obsolete and that our perceptions of general crime and criminality are becoming increasingly distorted. This book offers a unique glance into the increasing ‘tabloidization’ of criminal justice system news coverage and would seem to be of specific importance to those scholars, academics and people interested in media and politics issues as well as communication and legal studies. For future editions of the book, though, clarity of the main concepts and arguments is recommended for improved understanding.


Looking for This Weeks Trial of the Century
The Mainstream Media Go Tabloid
Tabloid Justice and the Evolution of New Media

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