Sex crime has become one of the most intense areas of public and political concern in recent decades. This book explores the complex influences that shape its construction in the press. Media representations give important cues as to how we should perceive the nature and extent of sex crime, how we should think and feel about it, how we should respond to it, and the measures that might be taken to reduce risk. Understanding the media construction of sex crime is central to understanding its meaning and place in our everyday lives. This book explores the construction of sex crime at every stage of the news production process. It then locates the findings within a wider context of cultural, economic and political change in late modernity.
It considers the construction process from the perspective of both journalists and their sources (including survivors);shows how increased market competition and tabloidisation has altered fundamentally the way in which news is produced, communicated and consumed;unpacks and analyses the press construction of sex crime in this context;discusses representations of the full range of sex crimes from consensual homosexual offences and prostitution to serial rape and sex murder;explores the representation of risk and prevention, victim and offender discourses, the criminal justice process and the symbolic role of sex crime in public life;draws upon extensive empirical research in Northern Ireland, while addressing issues relevant to advance capitalist societies across the globe.