Sample Research Paper

Words 2,450

Introduction

In Los Angeles, the formation of street gangs increased at a steady pace through 1996.  The Bloods and the Crips, the most well-known gangs of Los Angeles, are predominately African American and they have steadily increased in number since their beginnings in 1969.  In addition, there are over 600 active Hispanic gangs in Los Angeles County with a growing Asian gang population numbering approximately 20,000 members.

Media and its role in youth criminalization

In today’s society forms of mass media such as newspapers, television, and radio exert tremendous influence over the nation. Mass media streams into the homes of millions of people every day. This broad audience gives the media the tremendous ability to shape the discussion around certain issues. Within a political framework, the media is referred to as “the great mentioner” due to its ability to feature or ignore politicians’ campaigns and political issues.

Despite sharp declines in youth crime, the public expresses great fear of its young people. Although violent crime by youth in 1998 was at its lowest point in the 25-year history of the National Crime Victimization Survey, 62% of poll respondents felt that juvenile crime was on the increase. The public depends on the media for its pictures of crime. Three quarters (76%) of the public say they form their opinions about crime from what they see or read in the news, more than three times the number who states that they get their primary information on crime from personal experience (22%). In a Los Angeles Times poll, 80% of respondents stated that the media’s coverage of violent crime had increased their personal fear of being a victim. (Fagan, pp. 23-24)

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