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Essay on Journalism and Serial Killers

Assignment id 1008518
Discipline Other
Assignment type Essay
Words 2637
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The dark, ominous alleyways of London's East End divulge an extremely gruesome history of girls "ripped up such as [pigs] at a market" (Grose). The area, once littered with all the torn up stays of brutally murdered prostitutes, looms over the city as emblem for the story of a few of the most notorious serial killers: Jack the Ripper. The situation enthralls and captivates people's minds even now, over 100 decades later (BBC). This begs the question of how serial killers become part of history, an answer found in extensive media coverage. Time Magazine describes the happenings Jack the Ripper left as a "wealthy heritage" and also a "multi-million dollar business," eerily analogous to the policy of serial killings (Grose). Jack the Ripper's case offers an early example of the problems that arose with the advent of the serial killer--problems that still exist. The press has a exceptional role to play in serial killer investigations, however, the line between helping and hurting society is often blurred. While the press has a responsibility to inform society of such serial killings to be able to keep them safe and informed, publishing killer communiqués spans ethical boundaries regarding the investigations and society. Journalism has a particularly interesting impact on crime and the justice system, which started in the early to mid 1800's (Feldstein). Urbanization had a big effect on the development of journalism, as it enabled for the broad distribution of papers. On the other hand, the penny press basically generated the ethical issues regarding serial killers and media contact (Feldstein). The cent press began in 1833 with Day's launch of The New York Sun. Because the newspaper cost one cent instead of six, it targeted a entirely different au...

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