Criminal Law

The role of Mass Media in Investigation

Media plays a vital role in moulding the perception of society about most of the events happening in the world. Majority of the people get knowledge about the happening of any event through the forms of mass media. It is the most efficient source of information and news. Newspapers, television, the internet, magazines etc. are some of the examples of mass media.

These sources are efficient because they help in the investigation of events or cases. It not only examines the negative consequences of any incident but also throw light on the positive consequences of any incident. With the help of mass media, an investigation promotes good practices in society and enables one to face the consequences and challenges. An example is the case of George Floyd murder, in which the video went viral and got attention at a global level and led to the revolution as ‘BLACK LIVES MATTER’.

Mass media is a crime prevention technique that attempts to deal directly with fear of crime as well as the actual crime. It is a powerful tool for communicating ideas focused on entertainment media. Like a famous web series, ‘Narcos’ on Netflix which is based on the life story of Colombian smuggler Pablo Escobar. Many documentaries shows that how crimes happened and what are consequences of any crimes and many more topics related to crime.

The role of Mass Media in Investigation

  1. Mass Media provides a solid source of investigation on issues like business, government, politics and so on from archives, and records gathered from various sources which facilitate investigations.
  2. Mass media has become an important means of investigation as it releases CCTV footage which eventually helps the police in their investigation.
  3. Mass media provides a source of information on various issues such as politics, celebrities, business etc. It has played a pivotal role by providing the information gathered from various sources which help in the investigation of any particular case.
  4. Another important role played by mass media is the interviews and statements published through various platforms of mass media which helps in the strengthening of any case thereby helps in the investigation.

Critics of Social Media as a Tool of Investigation
Although Mass media is widely used for investigations in many countries, people are still reluctant to accept it as a platform for investigation of crimes. They feel Mass Media is always subjective and biased towards the elitists who influence the information published on such devices. They also criticize it because they feel not everything that is presented before us is the truth, in reality, sometimes it could be the subjective truth or it could be nothing but a narrative that a particular device wants to implant in the viewer’s/reader’s brain.

In many cases, mass media creates its own theories, meanings and images to establish a particular type of narrative. These narratives are assessed by various people and help them establish their own thoughts. Sometimes if this narrative is crocked, the idea gets perverted, thereby drastically affecting the minds of people. Based on these, it is difficult to blend the media for investigative purposes, but despite all these years, crime has now become a significant part of media research.