Research Proposal: Is crime becoming more a portrait of a consumer product rather than a reflection of reality? Introduction At any point in time, there always seems to be at least one crime show playing on the television. Crime shows like CSI, and its spin-offs, NCIS, The Mentalist, Law and Order are just a few of these shows which have fascinated audiences from the America as well as in other countries…
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They have capitalized on the perks and the popularity of these shows through various merchandise and in the process, they have managed to sustain the interest of the audience for these shows. It may be said that today’s media portrait of crime has packaged crime into a commodity or a consumer good – not a reflection of the reality of crime in our society. This paper shall study the thesis that crime has become more a portrait of a consumer product rather than a reflection of reality. This study shall discuss whether these crime shows and games portray reality and whether they mislead. This thesis was chosen because it raises an interesting question into the current modern perspectives of crime. It was chosen because its details will help establish a scholarly and comprehensive understanding of crimes and the role of the media in portraying them, and what perception has the audiences taken from the media towards this topic. Research Questions This study seeks to answer the question: Is crime becoming more a portrait of a consumer product rather than a reflection of reality? Specifically it seeks to answer the following queries: Do the media present crime as an attractive commodity or activity? Does the “CSI effect” (would be explained later on) present an attractive life for students considering college courses and careers? Do the crime shows portray accurate depictions of crime-solving? These questions are worth asking because they boil down to the impact of these crime shows on the public and how these shows change how crimes, crime-solving, and the lives of crime are being conceptualized by society. And as to wither or not these questions can be answered, the qualitative data the study would collect could give an idea on how audience perceive these “crime products” and hopefully give insight on why and how does it affect their judgment and perception towards crime. Literature Review Various studies have been carried out on the media and its impact on crime. These studies consider the impact of crime shows and games and how they have been built by the media and entertainment companies to capitalize on the interest of the audience. In a study by Gregg and Wilson (2010, p. 1), the authors set out to evaluate the impact of the crime show ‘Underbelly’ on the audience. The show is classified as true crime TV. It inhabits a lucrative medium of TV and cinema entertainment, which is true crime. True crime is considered to be a cross media genre; it offers a heightened and fictionalized version of actual criminal events, in this case, the real events surrounding the gangland activities in the Melbourne area from 1995-2004 (Gregg and Wilson, 2010, p. 1). Moralists argue that this show turns criminals and their actions into a form of entertainment. In this case, “true crime as a popular literary form has often been seen as disreputable, and open to the charge of being exploitative, as crimes up to and including mass murder are turned into money-making forms of consumption” (Gregg and Wilson, 2010, p. 7). However, it is also considered a means of addressing anxieties, whether or not they are involved with crime and disorder, or have a broader impact on the audience. The series ‘Underbelly’ is a prime example of how crime has become commoditized. As its draws on real events, it is ultimately an adaptation of the book ‘
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