Crime – Appealing to the Public

As advancements in technology have increasingly played a bigger role in society over the course of the last century, appealing to the public through means of the internet, television, radio, etc. has played a significant role in fighting crime and catching criminals.

Everyday now we see stories in the news, whether it be online or on television or over the radio, that are designed by law enforcement to inform the public on certain crimes and to appeal to the public to help solve unsolved crimes. Many of these stories are made to target the emotions of the reader or listener in hopes of influencing them to either come forward with information leading to a crime or to help fight crimes that are becoming increasingly detrimental to society. The advancements in technology that have led to these stories being much more widely publicized can be seen as a new form of public address, one that has come to play a significant role in fighting crime.

The growing role of technology in public address is one that cannot be ignored as it has transformed many aspects of our society for the better, particularly by reducing crime and solving unsolved crime.

Brendan Fell


5 comments so far

  1. cihuber on

    Your analysis on technological growth impacting crime-fighting is very interesting. I think the most important point you make is how technological growth allows for the speaker (here, it would be law enforcement) to reach a wider audience. This is something that has truly changed the game of contemporary public address. The internet, television, and radio have created local, national and global audiences.
    Technological advancement and globalization sometimes get a bad wrap. However, in this sense, it has allowed for crime-fighting to make advancements in the way it addresses the public.

    Carly Huber

  2. sarahtheobald on

    I agree that our society has benefited from the use of technology and the ease at which we can address the public about crime issues. On the other hand though, while many criminals have been caught through the use of public address, it has also become somewhat of a form of entertainment. For instance, NBC’s “To Catch a Predator” serves this dual purpose of alerting the public to an important issue regarding safety against child predators, as well as providing us with evening entertainment. We watch as Chris Hanson invites predators to “take a seat” and discuss the inappropriateness of the situation as police wait for the predator to walk out so they can dramatically jump out of the bushes and take him away. Even America’s Most Wanted, which helps in catching the worst of the worst of America’s criminals still provides dramatizations of crimes that could be seen on an episode of Law and Order. The same crime could have been described and the public could have received the same information without the 10 minute dramatization.

    ~ Sarah Theobald

  3. Siavash on

    This blog post provides a valuable contribution on the growing role of technology in public address as it transforms many aspects of our society including the “War on Crime”. However, I believe that if left unregulated and with no accountability to equitable public justice the definition of crime is misconstrued. Because of the lack of regulation and accountability, the public is disillusioned because of nightly TV. News and daily news papers which are private for profit entities with the objective to sell news that is attractive for the reader; not necessarily to provide information to the most disenfranchise members of society to better their conditions of life.

    Thus, the focus of Media and law enforcement is on crimes committed by the economic lower class and not on “white-collar” crimes committed by those of high social status. This disproportionate attention is manifested in the tendency the public and law enforcement has to overlook certain crimes committed by certain classes of society. The leeway given to “white-collar” and the uneven attention given compared to petty criminals is further evident in criminal sentences and crimes committed by petty thieves, drug users, and dope pushers.


  4. cjryan9 on

    In an even broader context, technology has really exposed us as Americans to the reality of crime in America. Nowadays, we know much more about the judicial system, and the law enforcement system through tv. My favorite show to watch is A&E’s “First 48.” It is a reality show about homicide that follows the detectives from the time they are called onto the scene until the time they solve the case. I think this is a valuable tool of public address in educating the public.

  5. cjryan9 on


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