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“Crimes lead to all sorts of other interesting stories” -Bob Woodward

Posted by: | October 28, 2010 | No Comment |

Are we a depraved people for taken such an interest in stories of crime? Cynical people might think so but actually the reporting of crime in news has served four main purposes:

  • Assist in the apprehension of the criminal
  • Deter other potential criminals
  • Clarify and reinforce lines of acceptable behavior
  • Strengthen political bonds

Though crimes that are usually reported in the news usually have little or direct impact on the lives of the people who read about it, the thing about these stories that garner so much attention from people is because of the element of human drama. Intimate details about the lives of the victim(s) and criminal(s) leading up to the event are what piques the interest of the public. People get to glimpse into the lifestyle of another person since criminal(s) and victim(s) surrender all rights to privacy as a result of the crime.

As Bob Woodward of the Washington Post has said, “Crimes lead to all sorts of other interesting stories.”

That is to say, when a person is caught violating the law whatever facades they might have been able to get by on for a public face get pushed aside and a more complete portrait of a person is drawn from their inspected lives. Therefore the people investigated and reported on in connection to a crime have more fully drawn characters in news than any other kind of human interest story.

Every newspaper seeks to (or at least should seek to) report news as objectively as possible. Though the reporting of crime is also done objectively, the story involves a person(s) that have engaged in activity in violation of the law, which addresses in greater detail what a society deems right or wrong in the face of the law; what is acceptable or unacceptable; what is punishable and to what extent.


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