MIT Department: Political Science
Undergraduate Institution: Swarthmore College, Swarthmore
Faculty Mentor: Ariel White
Research Supervisor: Ariel White
My name is Cayla, and I am a current junior at Swarthmore College. I am a major in political science and a double minor in English literature and peace & conflict studies. My research interests include voter mobilization, the intersection of minority and LGBTQ+ civil rights, and conflict resolution in low income communities. Though my goals are not quite clear, I hope to continually understand the laws and systems that govern us in order to empower our most vulnerable populations through education.
2017 Research Abstract
Analyzing National Violent Crime Rates and the Relationship to Violent Crime Reporting in Local News
Cayla Barry, Swarthmore College ’18
Supervised by Assistant Professor Ariel White – MIT Political Science Department
Local news reporting in the US tends to represent and report violent crime quite frequently. In fact, some studies suggest that local news broadcasts and newspapers tend to over-report and over-represent violent crime. So how do these rates of reporting compare to national violent crime rates? This report looks at violent crime rates in the US in 2014 from the FBI’s National Incident Based Reporting System, also referred to as NIBRS. This data from NIBRS was analyzed in R Studio to display the rates of violent crime in the US in 2014 from the 15 largest reporting cities. The fifteen cities are not necessarily the largest US cities, but they were the largest cities that submitted yearly incident reports to NIBS in 2014. The data will later be used to as a standard for violent crime rates in Assistant Professor Ariel White’s current research project on the subject. These crime rates from 2014 will be compared to the rates of crime reporting in local newspapers. This research can eventually suggest critical representations of violent crime in local news media: representations that accurately depicts the crime rates that are happening and what those incidents are. In doing so, we hope that we can provide more precise insight into the types and scales of crimes that are occurring on a national basis.