Mass media play an important role in raising awareness on social issues. In Italy, how do
mass media cover crime? The survey of the female murder cases covered by the TV evening news
in 2006 shows that media broadcast an anti-immigrant rhetoric which misrepresented reality. In
this case, Cohen's notion of moral panic can be applied to capture the dynamics and consequences
of media representation, but it cannot be generalized to the way media present crime. Moral
panic is an empirical concept which must always be tested, especially when the societal reaction
to deviance is not causative of the deviance itself. Femicide in Italy is an interesting example
of this latter case.