Experiencing violence in a cross-media environment: an interdisciplinary focus group study

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Due to drastic changes in the contemporary media environment, criminology needs to examine how the experience of violence is shaped by the emerging cross-media context. We conducted a qualitative focus group study (N = 24) to explore conversations about mediated violence experiences and crime media literacy in Finland, which manifests as an advanced state of cross-media transformation. We found that the cross-media context affects how information on violence and crime is received, as people combine and contrast bits of information from traditional media, social media, alternative media, and direct personal and local knowledge. This constellation of information sources is a fertile ground for distrust, as people challenge the self-regulatory limits of ‘old media’ in reporting on crime and construe such limits as ‘downplaying’ violence. Consistent with the general ‘media-critical’ frame of mind, the interviewees saw crime news media as fear-inducing. Through a focus group of older participants (in addition to three groups of younger participants), we observed generational differences that reflect the dimension of change from the old monolithic media environment to the cross-media context. The new context blurs the distinction between media content and social network-based reception and is thus a game changer for media criminology.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNordic Journal of Criminology
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)73-89
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 513 Law
  • crime journalism
  • cross-media
  • fear of crime
  • media literacy

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