"Reliable research suggests that there is no more violent crime today than there was 20 years ago . . . What there is more of--much more--is crime coverage. According to The Tyndall Report (2/94), crime took up more than 157 minutes a month on the three nightly network shows from October 1993 until January 1994. In the three years ending with January 1992, by contrast, these network shows spent 67 minutes a month on crime stories . . .
"In June 1993, 5% of those surveyed by a national Washington Post/ABC poll named crime as the most important issue facing the country. By February 1994, after months of saturation media coverage of crime, 31% said it was the most important problem . . .
"According to the National Crime Victimization Survey (part of the Bureau of Statistics), the crime rate has been basically flat since the survey began: There were 32.6 violent crimes per thousand persons in 1973, and 32.1 per thousand in 1992."