Media misrepresents gang violence in the city of Chicago.  Over the summer, MAVReC focused on researching the relationship between gang violence and how it was represented in the media. On the first day, the group decided it was best to research gang violence and media hype because it was something that affected all of our lives. We discovered that media misrepresents gang violence as an upward trend when, in fact, over the past decade or so numbers on violence in the city of Chicago have gone down steadily.



To validate our claim, we decided to research three sources of data which were: music, news stories, and gang member/neutron interviews. To do this we analyzed the mentions of violence in news stories and Chicago rap music and interviewed both gang members and neutrons (non gang member). The main results our research yielded were…

  • Chiraq music (gangster rap)
    • Average song length 4 minutes
    • 3 mentions of violence per minute
    • Average mentions of violence in each song = 12.3
  • News stories
    • Over 26 news stories between July 4th-July 18th, 22 of the stories were all about negative things with people of color ranging from fighting, stabbings, shootings, and robberies
    • 16 of those 22 were shootings.
    • Only 4 stories were about positive things with people of color
      • 2 about overcoming hardships



  • Interviews
    • Neutrons fear of gang violence is partially driven by media hype
    • Gang members lives more complicated than doing drugs and killing people

Dominick's boy's guns


Based on the data we collected we concluded that the media hype feeds the cycle of violence in Chicago.


You can view the full presentation here.

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