Date of Publication

12-6-2018

Degree Type

Honors Thesis

Department

Sociology

First Advisor

Dr. Melody L. Boyd, Associate Professor, Sociology

Abstract

As the amount of social media users increase, upwards of 66% of US adults in 2017, it can be expected that media corporations will follow. (Shearer and Gottfried 2017) Social media accounts for 35% of pathway to news (Mitchell et al. 2017) and considering 66% of online news content developers are owned by media conglomerates, it is likely to believe that many of the stories seen by users are recycled and reinforced. The relevance of this becomes clearer once noting that 33% of news is strictly crime focused. (Callanan 2012) Not only does social media provide users with content that has traditionally influenced a tinted sense of reality, but it also provides ample opportunities for follow-up actions. With 53% of social media news receiving a follow-up actions of sorts, it is likely to believe that follow-up actions may also be influential to a person’s sense of crime. (Mitchell et al. 2017) Furthermore, the increase in access to news is accompanied with an increase in access to “fake news.” 64% of US adults agree that fake news can cause great confusion, yet only 16% realizing the falsity of the news after sharing. (Barthel et al. 2016) In other words, misleading news stories have the potential to cause much harm by going unnoticed, thus the need for understanding the relationship of news and social media becomes that much more relevant. The purpose of this literature review is to address the following themes: the cognitive impact of news, crime, and social media usage, the symbolic underpinnings of news and crime, and the sociological impact of news and crime. After addressing all major exports of the literature, I will be connecting the dots in order to address the potential social impacts of crime infotainment and news through social media.

Included in

Sociology Commons

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