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Neighborhood Effects of News Coverage: Understanding the Spatial Distribution of Newspaper Crime Coverage in Atlanta

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Abstract:

In 2006, Atlanta experienced a 22 percent increase in homicides from the previous year, heralded by the media as a “spike” in lethal violence. Yet the news media selectively report on homicides, making strategic decisions about which events to cover and which to ignore. News organizations define certain stories as newsworthy on the basis of novelty, predictability, and youth involvement. One characteristic that has been overlooked is neighborhood context, despite the fact that violent crime is concentrated in “socially disorganized” urban neighborhoods. This study examines whether newspaper crime coverage is dependent upon neighborhood conditions, arbitrating between two competing hypotheses. According to media theory, homicide in socially disorganized neighborhoods should be less represented in the news since violence is more common in those areas. On the other hand, conflict theorists would anticipate that homicides in disorganized neighborhoods should be overrepresented in the news to maintain and perpetuate the status quo. Homicide data from the Atlanta Police Department are linked to crime stories published in the Atlanta-Journal Constitution for a four-month period in 2006 to determine whether and how crime news coverage is spatially organized across Atlanta neighborhoods.

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neighborhood (7), news (6), homicid (5), crime (5), atlanta (5), media (4), coverag (4), disorgan (3), organ (2), newspap (2), social (2), spatial (2), stori (2), violenc (2), whether (2), 2006 (2), novelti (1), overrepres (1), journal (1), percent (1), perpetu (1),
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Name: ASC Annual Meeting
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http://www.asc41.com


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p371360_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Grosholz, Jessica. "Neighborhood Effects of News Coverage: Understanding the Spatial Distribution of Newspaper Crime Coverage in Atlanta" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the ASC Annual Meeting, Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, Philadelphia, PA, Nov 04, 2009 <Not Available>. 2014-11-28 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p371360_index.html>

APA Citation:

Grosholz, J. M. , 2009-11-04 "Neighborhood Effects of News Coverage: Understanding the Spatial Distribution of Newspaper Crime Coverage in Atlanta" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the ASC Annual Meeting, Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, Philadelphia, PA Online <PDF>. 2014-11-28 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p371360_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: In 2006, Atlanta experienced a 22 percent increase in homicides from the previous year, heralded by the media as a “spike” in lethal violence. Yet the news media selectively report on homicides, making strategic decisions about which events to cover and which to ignore. News organizations define certain stories as newsworthy on the basis of novelty, predictability, and youth involvement. One characteristic that has been overlooked is neighborhood context, despite the fact that violent crime is concentrated in “socially disorganized” urban neighborhoods. This study examines whether newspaper crime coverage is dependent upon neighborhood conditions, arbitrating between two competing hypotheses. According to media theory, homicide in socially disorganized neighborhoods should be less represented in the news since violence is more common in those areas. On the other hand, conflict theorists would anticipate that homicides in disorganized neighborhoods should be overrepresented in the news to maintain and perpetuate the status quo. Homicide data from the Atlanta Police Department are linked to crime stories published in the Atlanta-Journal Constitution for a four-month period in 2006 to determine whether and how crime news coverage is spatially organized across Atlanta neighborhoods.


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Media and Crime: A Content Analysis of Violence in Feature Newspaper Articles on Crime

Capitalizing on Social Capital: A Spatial Examination of How Access to Voluntary Organizations Impacts Neighborhood Crime


 
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