Citizen Perceptions and Media Portrayals of White-Collar and Corporate Crime

The main research studied

The research article investigated on how the newspapers socially create company violence as a criminality. The research focused on the review of newspaper articles that covered fire interrelated deaths of 25 people who worked for Food Products processing plant which led to the owner of the corporation to plead guilty to murder. Thus, the research focused mainly on how the media provided misleading information and how it neglects corporate crimes (Blankenship, Cullen and Wright 21).

Methods used

The study sampled ten newspapers that covered the Imperial Food Product case. The newspapers sampled represented a cross-sectional of the US and the newspapers that had a wide fan base. The sample used wasn’t randomly selected and also didn’t represent the Geographical areas of US evenly. The sample focused on the leading newspapers such as The Washington Post and New York Times among many others. The sample size of newspaper used was extensively analyzed compared to the other previous research. The newspapers used in the study were supposed to be accessible at the University of Cincinnati Library. And; the electronic versions of Newspapers Abstracts were used to locate articles in the newspaper. This is because the system could easily find the stories related to the research .After the extensive literature reviews of corporate crimes, the author then categorized and developed content that measured the cases. They came up with harm, intent, sanctions, responsibility, and cause. They used this content to code the stories in the newspaper articles regarding the cases (Blankenship, Cullen and Wright 27).


Out of the ten samples, 9 concealed the story of the fire plant. Of the nine newspapers, 5 placed the story on the cover page. Although, in that week, the story was not given much focus as it faded slowly. Also included, the study found out that exit channel of the plant was padlocked. Later, during the conviction, the media also covered the story. In short, the findings suggested that the media blamed the state for lack of regulatory laws regarding safety in plants and also allowing unsafe and hazardous scenarios to exist in plants (Blankenship, Cullen and Wright 28).

72% of the stories that were covered did not mention any possible sanction. Although the incident was likely to be criminal and led to injuries and deaths, the newspapers didn’t define the criminal action. After the conviction was made, the media then covered the criminal sanctions. Therefore, the media is cautious in mention corporate viciousness as a crime since they only reported it as a crime after the government declared it as a criminal violation (Blankenship, Cullen and Wright 31).


The newspapers should take the front row in outlawing the harm actions in the Imperial Food products by playing a part in fighting against company violence. Also, the papers should show consciousness that company violence to be understood as a crime. Therefore, the media should be active and should not be hesitant and look deeply into cases regarding corporate violence so that the victims that are affected by such crimes to be given justice. Finally, the media should not socially construct crimes regarding corporate crimes by blaming the government for the deaths due lack of safety regulations, but deeply investigate the main causes of the deaths which may be pointed to the corporate institutions.