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Crime is a timeless phenomenon. Its inherent ability to both fascinate and appal has made reporting of crime an intrinsic part of newspapers since the dawn of the printing press. The interest surrounding crime validates the need for accurate and consistent reporting. This renders it a regular feature of the daily news cycle and thus a fixture in our everyday lives. Reading or hearing about it through the news media is the only contact that many people will have with crime throughout their lives. Therefore, the manner in which crime news is both presented and portrayed to the general public is of crucial importance. Academic research has described how the media have a propensity to over-report news of violent crime, which can lead to a negative external perception of crime. In order to re-assess the matter in a contemporary Irish context, this research study set out to examine crime reporting in modern-day Ireland. Through the use of newspaper analysis and in-depth interviews, the study finds that although crime is a daily feature of the news coverage, its position within the newspaper is not as prominent as one may expect. Moreover, a lack of in-depth crime reporting and a need for more detailed analysis of the crime issue also emerged. Distinct differences between the styles of reportage given to crime news in tabloid and in broadsheet newspapers have been examined and noted. Moreover, external factors, such as public demand and the news cycle, were found to have impacted upon whether or not the crime news in question dominated.
Rabbitte, E.: Feeding Fear? : An Examination of the Representation of Crime News in Contemporary Irish Print Media. Dublin, DIT, September 2012.