By Greg Thrasher
Recently in the media industry various outlets and magazines including CNN and other outlets compiled a list of the most dangerous cities in the world; Detroit was on the list. This is an example of how shallow and worthless journalism, reporting and disinformation have become almost criminal (excuse the pun). Lists like these are often inferences based upon survey data, questionable data collections and subjective media accounts. There is no integrity in impotent lists like these other than tabloid currency.
What is more valuable and practical is crime data and information that is based upon the actual security and risk of harm to individuals and property. Yet this type of crime data has little currency and shock value for the media industry tales of crimes and victims suffering at the end of a gun of a nasty crack head has more bite and as such more ratings and the potential of more eyeballs, blog hits, advertisement fees and data which is based upon sound inferences and accurate crime findings.
The reporting of crime is now a commodity that is marketed to make revenue for a number of industries and interests. Crime is big business for the lawyers, bail bond agencies, city and county court departments, correctional facilities as well as companies which sell crime prevention gadgets and of course insurance companies that make money on fear and the specter of being a victim. Crime is a money maker even for the medical industry. It should be noted as well that entire non-profit organizations are created around the industry of crime in America.
None of the data collected nor the lists directly evaluate the ratio or metric about actual danger to victims. Most victims of crime know their assailants and many of them are family and friends. Crime data and information that provides insights on the pathology of crime is never the news that is reported by the media. Cause and effect reporting regarding crime in the media is very rare and more often the domain of college studies and research conducted by academic interests for publication in academics journals and trade publications. The real hard core data and truths about crime are often never reported in the daily media outlets.
Factually most people are rarely victims of remote danger or stranger inflicted criminal acts. Most people are safer with strangers than actual people they have a history or relation with. In reality with regard to family crimes and spousal abuse, the victims are at risk often from other family member and not strangers. In the area of property crimes many of these crimes are also committed by criminals who know the victim.
One of the nasty little secrets about crimes that is known to most police departments is that criminals will flip on each other and most crimes can be solved not by police investigations but by the the offer of rewards and plea deals. In the real world most crimes are caused by a very small percentage of the population; most people never commit a crime and are never a victim of a crime. Yet this truth is rarely reported in the media especially when it comes to cities like Detroit and other urban venues.
Reporting and information of this nature at end of the day does not make anyone safer it only demonizes entire cities with fiction and disinformation. A city like Detroit which is often demonized by the the publication of lists which claim Detroit is the most violent venue in America are always in a defensive and recovery mode as they try to defend the myths and disinformation that these publications have created about the city and its residents. It often takes decades to recover from the ugly images of the city that are created by articles which inflate the level of crime in the city. Entire neighborhoods are destroyed and demonized by false accusations of being crime infested venues. New business are handcuffed by the fictional portrayal of crime in areas where business are located. The crime of reporting crime must stop!