An Old Dominion University study found that, at least in one local news market, crime pays. An analysis four stations in Hampton Roads, Virginia shows that 25.7 percent of stories focus on crime in some form.
For the study, Old Dominion analyzed 1,132 stories from the weekday evening newscasts on the four major network-affiliated stations in the Hampton Roads, Virginia market: CBS-affiliate WTKR, NBC-affiliate WAVY, ABC-affiliate WVEC and Fox-affiliate WVBT. The stories were all from January 3-31 of this year, a time period chosen because it has no major political events that could skew the results of the study.
Crime reports were divided into three categories: violent crime, white-collar crime and general crime. Of the three, general crime was the highest, with 149 stories; violent crime was next, with 125, followed by white-collar crime with 17.
The study also found that WVBT reported the greatest number of crime stories, followed closely by WAVY. WTKR and WVEC came in third and fouth, respectively.
Read the full findings of the study here.