Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Britain, not violent, but obsessed with violence

I heard Lord Blair of Loughton's lecture as part of the Radio 3 Nightwaves Free Thinking Festival. He touched on a point common to all us sociologists of the last 30 years. Fear of crime and crime statistics are socially produced. This country, he said, is not a violent country, but one that is obsessed with violence. He backed it up with statistics, claiming that crime peaked in 1995. The National Crime Survey is flawed, he conceded, but made some shrewd observations on moral panics and political posturing.

I can think of very little to say that this chap hasn't covered here. It's a site called Extra Mural by Jack Serle, a Science Journalism Masters student at City University in London.

Here's some more: It strikes me that in his short lecture Lord Blair struck deep at a sad aspect of British journalism and one which is costing it dearly. We are too parochial an industry – our copy too narrow in focus – and this myopia is failing our readers, viewers and listeners.

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