'Daer en is geen liefde of barmherticheyt meer in ons' : percepties over criminaliteit en criminaliteitsberichtgeving in de Zuidelijke Nederlanden gedurende de zeventiende en achttiende eeuw
Franck, Maarten Charles J.
Faculty of Arts. Linguistics and Literature
Tijdschrift voor mediageschiedenis. - Amsterdam, 1998, currens
, p. 5-26
University of Antwerp
There is a growing debate within the human sciences about the media's responsibility in creating a disproportional fear about becoming a victim of crime. When the presence of crime is overestimated people demand and take defensive measures to ensure their personal safety. Historians have also joined the debate. Some of them ascribe a similar responsibility to the early modern West European media. But is that justified? It is argued that early modern media in the Southern Netherlands operated in a different way to today's media. Not only were there other media channels like market singers who sung about the goriest murders but the reporting of crime was also under strict governmental control. Newspapers for example included hardly any news about crimes and market singers were frequently expelled from city life. It is also argued that early modern media although different to today's media did have a certain influence on people's perceptions of crime. They did have some responsibility in the creation of fear but it was mostly a fear of God and the court of justice that was spread