Tabloid Justice: U. S. Criminal Justice in an Age of Media Frenzy / Edition 1

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Editorial Reviews

Arguing that the US has entered an era in which the mass media tend to focus on the "sensationalistic, personal, lurid, and tawdry details" of high-profile trials and investigations, the authors (political science, Union College and Purdue U., respectively) illustrate that the way in which legal information is presented by the mass media distorts the public's view of reality. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781555879389
  • Publisher: Lynne Rienner Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/28/2001
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 225
  • Product dimensions: 5.53 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.01 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Tables and Figures vii
Preface xi
Introduction: A Time of Tabloid Justice 1
Part 1 From Journalism to Sensationalism
1 Looking for This Week's "Trial of the Century" 23
2 The Mainstream Media Go Tabloid 53
3 Tabloid Justice and the Evolution of New Media 87
Part 2 The Impact of the Media Culture on Public Attitudes Toward the Criminal Justice System
4 Public Opinion, Trial Coverage, and Faith in the Criminal Justice System 121
5 Race, Gender, Class, and Tabloid Justice 151
Part 3 Conclusion
6 Is There Any Escape from Tabloid Justice? 185
Appendix A 195
Appendix B 199
Bibliography 209
Index 217
About the Book 225
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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2001


    Like most Americans, you and I have already devoted countless hours absorbing the latest reports about high-profile legal cases. A short list reminds us of the time we have spent: O. J., JonBenet, Rodney King, Lorena Bobitt, Monica Lewinsky, and the British nanny Louise Woodward. In the 1990s, these and other judicial soap operas have become a mainstay of mainstream television, newspapers, and magazines. These ¿dramas¿ are the lifeblood of the newer cable and Internet ¿news¿ media. These cases have so worked their way into our collective consciousness that the mere mention of one can easily evoke (and provoke!) a long and far-ranging discussion. In their new book TABLOID JUSTICE: CRIMINAL JUSTICE IN AN AGE OF MEDIA FRENZY, Richard Fox and Robert Van Sickel have dissected how the increasingly entertainment-oriented news media have covered such high-profile legal cases. The authors show how growing familiarity with celebrity criminal cases has distorted our understanding of the U. S. legal system and undercut our confidence in law enforcement, attorneys, judges, and the jury system. TABLOID JUSTICE offers a concise introduction to this important subject. It is richly documented without being pedantic. It is a wonderful text for college-level courses in Law and Society or Mass Communications. Students will find its argument compelling. Faculty will appreciate its value as a catalyst for class discussions about the impact of the media on our legal system. Soon a new ¿trial of the century¿ will come our way. Fox and Van Sickel want all of us to be better prepared when it does.

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