On Mon, 16 Oct 2006 10:30:42 -0400, Haskell, Patrick <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>I honestly don't know if this sort of freakish predation has been the
>norm for decades and we just hear about it more nowadays, or whether
>there has really been some sort of increase in the rate of actively
>aggressive misogyny. 

The former.

The following is from OFF BALANCE:Youth, Race & Crime in the News
Prepared by Lori Dorfman, DrPH  Berkeley Media Studies Group, Public Health Institute
Vincent Schiraldi, Justice Policy Institute
April 2001
which can be found at:

Crime coverage has increased while real crime rates have fallen. Overall the rate of crime coverage 
in the news did not reflect crime trends. For example, one of the few studies of newsmagazines 
found that increases in crime reporting in Time magazine reflected increases in crime during 1975 
and 1979.42 But it also found a 55% increase in crime coverage in Time from 1979 through 1982 
when the actual crime rate increased by only 1%.

On network television news, crime coverage doubled from 1992 to 1993, from 830 to 1,698 
stories. This made crime the leading TV news topic for the first time since 1987. The coverage 
continued rising, reaching 1,949 stories in 1994 and 2,574 in 1995, more than triple the total 
recorded in 1992. Crime news peaked in 1995 primarily because of the O.J. Simpson trial 
coverage, but never dropped to its pre-O.J. levels.43 From 1990 through 1999, Center for Media 
and Public Affairs researchers catalogued 135,449 stories on ABC, CBS, and NBC evening 
newscasts. Crime was the biggest topic of the decade with 14,289 crime stories. Crime news 
declined for the first time in 2000, dropping 39% from the previous year, but remains the third 
most frequent topic on network news.44

Local television news has not been monitored for as long as the networks. However, several 
studies done in the mid-1990ís by Rocky Mountain Media Watch (RMMW) provide similar evidence 
for local TV news.45 RMMW volunteers collect late night news broadcasts from local TV stations 
on the same night around the country. All RMMW studies show high levels of crime reporting, so 
much so that RMMW created a measure dubbed the "mayhem index" to account for local TV news 
attention to crime, violence and disaster coverage. In every year examined, crime stories dominate 
the local TV newscasts, and violent crime, particularly murder, dominates the crime stories. For 
example, in 1997, RMMW found that crime topped the list of subjects covered on local evening 
news, was one-third of all local news stories, and appeared three times as much as the next 
closest subject. RMMW suggests that crime coverage not only persists out of proportion to actual 
crime, but that it also uses up time that could be devoted to other important topics.

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