The pages of the newspapers are full of stories about criminals and those that have done wrong in some way. It seems we all like to read about their activities, probably because it makes us feel superior in some way. This has been the case for many years and now more than ever the actions of those transgressing the law are given time both in the media and on social media.
It has led me to question whether this is really a worthwhile thing. What is the reason that we justify this publicity for those doing wrong? Is it supposed to act as a deterrent? It can really only do that if there is a suitable result when the offender appears before court. Is it to understand what makes people transgress? I don’t think the media coverage that we have really ever gets to that level of analysis. Is it because we like to be viewers of the events in our lifetimes? Possibly, although the more we learn about crime the more we worry ourselves about the impact of it.
Whatever the reason it is clear that the media believe people want to follow the lives of criminals. This focus is unhealthy and it has the potential to glorify the criminal behaviour. I believe the time is more than right for this to become something we move to the history books.
Don’t get me wrong. I know that we need to highlight crimes in order for people to come forward and help providing information, and I know that people want to learn about the punishments that are given to those caught breaking the law and negatively impacting on the wider society. However, for me that is where it should end. The more we continue to focus on those career criminals as some form of celebrity the more we risk damaging society.
Now is the time that we should choose to share the stories of those people who do good and helpful things. We should fill our media and social media with the details of those who are doing things to benefit society, those doing good deeds and working to make life better for people.
Choose the positive path and let us all make criminal celebrities a thing of the past.