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Imagine for a moment the visual rhetoric which a broadcast news item about ‘juvenile delinquency’ may use. The journalist could establish the setting by using a montage of shots: graffiti; a broken window; a derelict house; a burnt out car; all presented over a hip-hop soundtrack. These images, and the marriage of sound and vision, invoke a myth of crime and youth crime in particular: that it is urban and ‘inner city’ specifically; that it is correlated with deprivation; that it is working class; that it is Black. Despite the fact that as much crime is committed by white middle-class juveniles (particularly drug crime), a piece on youth crime will only usually open with shots of leafy suburbia if the journalist is creating an explicit ...

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