JST338 Crime, Media and Culture (8)

Media representations of crime, both real and fictional, have a significant impact on our understandings of, and responses to, crime.  This subject introduces students to the relationship between the criminal justice system and media. Students will examine key criminological and media theories as applied to the relationship between media and crime, including representations of vulnerability, gender, race and class. This subject will also look at representations of crime in fiction. Students will analyse the representations of offenders, police, crime, prisons and the courts in image and text. The subject will also look at the impact of social media on the perception and representation of the criminal justice system.


Session 1 (30)
Bathurst Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: JST338. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


Centre for Law and Justice

Assumed Knowledge

Any Level 2 JST Subject

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to describe the relationship between the media and the criminal justice system;
  • be able to analyse representations of crime, offenders, police, prisons, courts and the criminal justice system in both the news media and in fiction;
  • be able to evaluate the impact of representations of crime, including in television and film, on our understanding of crime and responses to crime;
  • be able to describe the key theories of crime, media and culture and apply them to media content; and
  • be able to apply self-reflection skills and demonstrate ability to assess their own learning of criminological topics.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Crime, media, and culture
  • Media and audiences
  • Risk, discourse and culture
  • The reporting of crime and news values
  • Moral panic
  • Portrayal of offenders
  • Portrayal of victims
  • Super heroes and super villains
  • Documenting justice
  • Crime and digital/social media

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of JST338 in Session 1 2020. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Blog post 1
Online test
Blog post 2
Blog post 3
Blog post 4
Research task

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.