The numbers are available. The internet makes them incredibly easy to access. Even the "mob" and "thugs" had more integrity and morals than Gansta's. 30 years ago, even a drug lord would consider you human waste if you whacked a grandma or kid that you had no "business" with.
It's certainly true that one cannot easily support data to prove one way or the other that things are really worse than they used to be insofar as crime (and general bad attitude) is concerned... but it sure feels that way.
And yes, media hype makes it seem much worse than it really is. I really do not want to hear about rape and murder (etc.) on the other coast, and all places between. If all I heard about was what was in my town, (like in the old days) it might not feel so bad.
News should be something that is "important" to the people it is being delivered to. What happens on an inter-personal social level 3000 miles away does not matter to me. But for some God-Awful reason, it "sells".
What's that all about, anyway? (I probably know, but I can't put my finger on it right now.)