Crime news and racialized beliefs: Understanding the relationship between local news viewing and perceptions of African Americans and crime

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A survey of Los Angeles County adults was undertaken to determine whether exposure to the overrepresentation of Blacks as criminals on local news programs, attention to crime news, and news trust predicted perceptions of Blacks and crime. After controlling for a number of factors including the diversity of respondents' neighborhood and neighborhood crime rate, attention to crime news was positively related to concern about crime. In addition, attention to crime news was positively associated with harsher culpability ratings of a hypothetical race-unidentified suspect and a Black suspect but not a White suspect. Finally, heavier consumption of Blacks' overrepresentation as criminals on local television news was positively related to the perception of Blacks as violent. The theoretical implications of these findings are discussed in light of chronic activation and accessibility of stereotypical constructs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)106-125
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Communication
Volume58
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication
  • Linguistics and Language

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