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NCJ Number: 162197 Find in a Library
Title: Breaking Into Prison: News Sources and Correctional Institutions
Journal: Canadian Journal of Criminology  Volume:38  Issue:2  Dated:(April 1996)  Pages:155-190
Author(s): A Doyle; R V Ericson
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 36
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: This article discusses media coverage of prisons and other elements of the criminal justice system.
Abstract: News media coverage of prisons has been little researched, especially in Canada. Prisons are the most closed institutions in the justice system and receive less media attention than earlier stages of the criminal process. Some analysts suggest this stems from tight official control over media knowledge of prisons. Such control seems to fit with critical penal historians' descriptions of a vetting of the once highly public spectacle of punishment. Such control also fits with a dominant ideology model of the media in which journalists are very subordinate to official sources in deciding news content. The authors conducted 18 open-focused interviews with corrections officials, various alternative news sources, and media workers, along with a literature review and an analysis of prison news stories. Their data indicate that: (1) prison officials are only intermittently successful in managing news coverage of prisons; (2) journalists can access a variety of alternative, critical news sources; (3) corrections officials are often engaged in damage control regarding negative news; and (4) the news media are more open, diverse, and pluralistic in their coverage of criminal justice than portrayed by some dominant ideology theorists. Note, references
Main Term(s): Corrections
Index Term(s): Canada; Correctional information systems; Correctional personnel attitudes; Corrections-media relations; Criminology; Data collections; Media coverage; Press relations; Studies; Theory
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