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Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

CRIM 4121: Crime and Media

Students examine the interrelationships between crime, criminal justice, and mass media, with particular attention to how the media represents, distorts, and/or filters crime and justice issues. Topics will include media portrayal of police, courts, corrections, and how various forms of media shape public perceptions about crime, the criminal justice system, and criminal justice policy.

Learning outcomes

After successfully completing this course, you will be able to:

  • Identify and apply theoretical foundations for explaining crime and the media
  • Assess the role of the media in perceptions of crime and justice issues and policies.
  • Describe and analyze the common links between media portraits and criminal justice actors, issues, and policies.
  • Evaluate and interpret information in the media related to crime and justice.
  • Explain the role of a public criminologist and create a public criminology media strategy.
  • Design and carry out research to examine media representations of crime and justice.

Course topics

CRIM 4121 includes the following 12 modules:

  1. Public Criminology
  2. Understanding the Media I
  3. Understanding the Media II
  4. Crime & Criminality I
  5. Crime & Criminality II
  6. The Media and the Criminal Justice System I
  7. The Media and the Criminal Justice System II
  8. The Media and the Criminal Justice System III
  9. Media and Crime Control
  10. The Media and Criminal Justice Policy
  11. New Media, Crime, and Justice
  12. Media, Crime, and Justice in the 21st Century

Required text and materials

Surette, R. (2015). Media, crime, and criminal justice: Images, realities, and policies. (5th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
Textbook: ISBN: 978-1-285-45905-9


Please be aware that should your course have a final exam, you are responsible for the fee to the online proctoring service, ProctorU, or to the in-person approved Testing Centre. Please contact with any questions about this.

To successfully complete this course, students must achieve a passing grade of 50% or higher on the overall course, and 50% or higher on the final mandatory exam.

Assignment 1: News article critique 10%
Assignment 2: Article critique 10%
Assignment 3: New Media Project 15%
Assignment 4: Research Paper 25%
Online Postings 10%
Final Examination * 30%
Total 100%

* Mandatory

Open Learning Faculty Member Information

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Students will receive the necessary contact information at the start of the course.

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