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CRI2211 Crime, Justice and the Media

Semester 1, 2021 Online
Short Description: Crime, Justice and the Media
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Law and Justice
Student contribution band : 2021 Grandfather Funding Cl 1
ASCED code : 099903 - Criminology
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Andrew Hickey


The media, in all its forms, is a central feature of everyday life in today’s society. Television, news and social media dominate the dissemination of information, driven by political and social agendas. In particular, both factual and fictional depictions of crime and criminals feature regularly in the media as well as the criminal justice system’s responses. Research shows that public perceptions about crime, criminals and the criminal justice system are predominantly influenced by the media. In addition to the media being a portal for framing crime in particular ways, ever changing and evolving media technologies also provide new ways of ‘doing crime’. Criminological studies of crime and the media form an essential component to students’ learning about how crime is portrayed, perceived and responded to. Due to the intensified use and reliance upon media in more recent decades, crime and the media studies are central to the major in criminology and criminal justice.


Crime and the media share a relationship that is both complex and inter-influential. On the one hand crime, in all its various forms, inspires and influences both factual and fictional depictions of crime within society. On the other hand, modern media platforms have given rise to crimes being perpetrated in new and innovative ways. Together, the use of media to represent, as well as perpetrate crime, has the greatest influence on people's perceptions of crime salience, and the extent to which people fear crime. In this course, students will be introduced to theoretical perspectives applied to explain the connection between crime and the media, and the tendency for the media to sensationalise crime. The portrayal of particular crime types and particular offender types as described in criminological literature as moral panics and folk devils will also be examined, along with media constructions of the `deserving' or `undeserving' victim. Connected intricately to crime, criminals, victims is the criminal justice system. As a formal agency that exists to prevent, detect, and respond to crime and criminals, media representations of the criminal justice system form a key component to students' learning throughout this course.


On successful completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. illustrate the connection between crime and the media;
  2. critically appraise media representations of crime, criminals, victims and the criminal justice system;
  3. apply criminological theory and perspectives to media representations of crime;
  4. appraise the impact of the media on public perceptions of crime, criminals, victims and the criminal justice system;
  5. examine media influences on public expectations about preventing, detecting, investigating and responding to crime;
  6. appraise the media’s influence on the public’s perspectives about crime through application of criminological theory/thought.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Course overview and introduction to crime, justice and the media 20.00
2. The main characters of crime in the media 20.00
3. Fact or fiction? Constructions of crime in the media 20.00
4. Monitoring and perpetrating crime via media 20.00
5. Influence of crime in the media 20.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

There are no texts or materials required for this course.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
Jewkes, Y 2015, Media and Crime, 3rd edn, Sage Publications, London, UK.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Assessments 65.00
Directed Study 37.00
Private Study 63.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Objectives Assessed Notes
Essay 10 10 24 Mar 2021 1,2,5
Proposal 40 40 15 Apr 2021 1,2,5
Project 50 50 03 Jun 2021 2,3,4,5,6

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them, to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks for that item.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative items for the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    There is no examination in this course, there will be no deferred or supplementary examinations.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. Referencing in assignments must comply with the APA referencing system. This system should be used by students to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The APA style to be used is defined by the USQ library's referencing guide. These guides can be found at

Evaluation and benchmarking

In meeting the University’s aims to establish quality learning and teaching for all programs, this course monitors and ensures quality assurance and improvements in at least two ways. This course:

Conforms to the USQ Policy on Evaluation of Teaching, Courses and Programs to ensure ongoing monitoring and systematic improvement and is benchmarked against the internal USQ accreditation/reaccreditation processes which include (i) stringent standards in the independent accreditation of its academic programs, (ii) close integration between business and academic planning, and (iii) regular and rigorous review.

Date printed 18 June 2021