Justice in the Media

Image of Television amd Scales of Justice

Kenneth W. Mentor, J.D., Ph.D.
144 Breland Hall
(505) 646-5898
Link to Justice in the Media Home Page
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This course can best be defined as "Internet Assisted." Traditional reading and writing is combined with nontraditional methods of learning. Throughout this course students will be expected to critically analyze many forms of media. As criminal justice scholars, our focus will be on the several issues. Please think about these issues as we move through the assignments:

Media Definition of Crime and Criminals

What images of crime, justice, and the criminal justice system are presented in the mass media?

What behavior and offenders does the media cover? What is ignored?

Does the media exaggerate the occurrence of certain crimes, committed by certain people, while ignoring other crimes?

Media Definition of the Criminal Justice System

How does the media portray the police, courts (both criminal and civil), and the corrections system?

How does the media impact the administration of justice? While the O. J. Simpson case may immediately come to mind, there are many more examples of the interaction of media and justice.

How well does the media describe the successes and failures of our system of justice?

Policy Impact

Do media portrayals of crime become accepted by the public?

Does this acceptance make it difficult to develop an accurate account of the crime problem?

Does this biased view of justice result in poor policy choices?

Is reform of the system impeded by a less than adequate knowledge of the justice process?

Is there a way to overcome the stereotypical views of justice that are so prevalent in today’s media?

First Assignment

  1. Beginning with the links at the top left, review all web pages associated with this course. There are a bunch of them and you will need to use each page by the end of the semester.

  2. Review the "Getting Started with WebCT" page. Pay special attention to the information about browsers and browser settings. The vast majority of problems with WebCT are related to browsers and settings. I WILL NOT BE ABLE TO DIAGNOSE AND REPAIR EVERY PROBLEM YOU HAVE WITH WebCT. Please review the settings now to avoid possible problems later. I encourage you to upgrade your browser before starting the class. Extremely Important: Do not use the AOL browser!  

  3. Return to this page and click here to go to the WebCT page.

  4. Log on to your "My WebCT" page.

  5. One you log on, the CJ 432/532 course should be listed. Click on the course name to enter the course pages.

  6. Review each WebCT section. Grades, assignments, discussion, email, and other activities are available through WebCT. Learn how the features work so we can minimize the in class review time.

  7. Start work for module 1.

Copyright 2003

Kenneth Mentor

Page revised July, 2003