The media report on crime in a sensationalist manner. Following
popular demand, they focus on the most spectacular representations
of violence, to the extent, which is totally out of proportion with
the actual amount of violent crimes committed. On the other hand,
the media at times do not touch upon the most extreme forms of violence,
in order to protect the illusion of integrity of certain individuals
or social systems.
The overexposure of violence in the media, accompanied by outraged
journalistic commentary on the inefficiency and leniency of the
justice system in dealing with violent offenders, makes the public
feel that the punitive policies are too mild and that there is
a need for stricter measures to prevent crime. The public, feeling
threatened and let down by the system, becomes more susceptive
to vigilantist initiatives and other demands for self-help.
In light of these findings, the survey analyses the reporting on
violence in Slovene print and television programmes. The results
have shown that POP TV programming contains a significantly greater
share of violent content and content depicting accidents than the
programming of SLO 1, reflecting an obvious difference in the editorial
policies. Slovenske novice, the highest selling Slovene daily,
shows a 19 per cent share of violence in its content. Disregarding
the supplements, the content of which is virtually always neutral
or non-violent, violence makes for 29 per cent of the entire content
of Slovenske novice. The front pages of Slovenske novice show an
astonishing 66,7 per cent share of violent content. Comparatively,
Dnevnik contains 8,6 per cent of violent content, while Delo contains
3,1 per cent.
Even though the survey has shown an overwhelming amount of violence
in the Slovene media, the author feels it inappropriate to resort
to censorship, seeing that in a world, interwoven with electronic
systems and networks, it is impossible to dam the flow of information.
There is a need for a cultural framework, within which the media
audience will be able to distinguish between the good and the bad.
The author understands the difficulties in trying to create such
a framework. The process is hindered by the audience’s voyeuristic
interest in violent content, as well as economic interests of its
The author concludes by offering a partial solution. He proposes
the establishing of expert bodies within television stations
and newspaper publishing houses, which would deal with the
representation of violence in the media.