Friday, November 29, 2013

Did media coverage of the "Knockout Game" drive this crime trend?

I'm sure you've seen lurid coverage of a "crime trend" called the "Knockout Game". Supposedly this trend involves young men deliberately assaulting unsuspecting victims by trying to knock them unconscious with one punch.

There was an piece at The Atlantic Wire that had an interesting bit it in.
The New York Times cited Police Commissioner Ray Kelly as saying his team is “trying to determine whether or not this is a real phenomenon.” He adds, “I mean, yes, something like this can happen. But we would like to have people come forward and give us any information they have.” That's actually a pretty reasonable reaction, considering the difficulty in determining criminal trends; especially in the age of 24-hour news coverage, where the copycat effect creates attackers inspired by the ‘trend’ to capitalize on the media’s branding.
 Via The Atlantic Wire

So was this trend largely driven by the lurid coverage of this trend? Is it even a real trend if the only thing driving it is the media's coverage of it?

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