Juvenile Offenders, Coverage of

Crime news makes up a large segment of journalistic reportage. Juvenile crime is of special interest because it can affect government policy and public perceptions of the nation’s youth. Bundled into this issue are people’s worries about their own children, the fear that older people often have of younger people, fear and mistrust based on race, and a tendency toward sensationalism on the part of the news media.

Coverage of juvenile offenders includes broadcast, print, and online news stories of crimes committed by a minor (often defined as those age 16 and under, although the age of majority in the United States is 18). This coverage is affected by the routines of news gathering, which involve deadlines, reliance on official sources, limited time and space, and ...

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