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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 220831 
Title: Criminal Investigation and the Media (From Handbook of Criminal Investigation, P 146-169, 2007, Tim Newburn, Tom Williamson, and Alan Wright, eds. -- See NCJ-220829)
Author(s): Rob C. Mawby
Date Published: 2007
Page Count: 24
Sponsoring Agency: Willan Publishing
Portland, OR 97213-3644
Sale Source: Willan Publishing
c/o ISBS, 5804 N.E. Hassalo Street
Portland, OR 97213-3644
United States of America
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Book Chapter
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: Drawing on relevant literature and research, this chapter addresses the British media's historical and contemporary interest in criminal investigations and the portrayal of police work, how police agencies use the media to shape their image, and police-media relations during the investigation of serious crimes.
Abstract: British entertainment and news media have promoted the crime-fighting image of policing since at least the 18th century. This image has been regularly challenged as a myth through studies of what police actually do in the course of a shift. The police have done little to challenge this image, apparently because it maintains a preferred image of police in the public's eye. Most of the contemporary work of police media units focuses on providing information to the media about specific crimes and associated progress in their investigations. In effect, the police play to the media's and the public's interest in the crime-fighting role of the police, and they seek to manage that image in such a way that they appear to be supremely professional and competent in their crime-fighting role. This primary dynamic of police-media relations has not only distorted the true nature of crime (media and public interest focuses on violent crimes, a small percentage of all crime) and police work, it has given police an impossible mandate, i.e., to bring all criminals to justice, particularly violent offenders and sex offenders, and relieve the public's fear of becoming a crime victim. 3 tables and 63 references
Main Term(s): Police-media relations
Index Term(s): Foreign police; Media coverage; Media support
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