skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 166941 Find in a Library
Title: News Media and Account Ability in Criminal Justice (From Accountability for Criminal Justice: Selected Essays, P 135-161, 1995, Philip C Stenning, ed. -- See NCJ 166936)
Author(s): R V Ericson
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 27
Sponsoring Agency: University of Toronto Press
Buffalo, NY 14203
Sale Source: University of Toronto Press
33 East Tupper Street
Buffalo, NY 14203
United States of America
Type: Issue Overview
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: The analysis of how the news media participate in processes of accountability is central to an understanding of accountability in criminal justice.
Abstract: The author initially discusses the concept of accountability and then considers the various institutions that comprise criminal justice. The author argues that the news media do not stand apart from the various arenas in which people seek criminal justice, but are integral to their daily practices; hence, the news media are best conceptualized as part of criminal justice rather than as external reporters on criminal justice. With this concept, the author analyzes criminal justice as a communication process that involves strategic practices in secrecy and revelation that both exclude and include the news media. Whether a crime or criminal justice practice is publicized is shown to be related to the strategic interests of the parties involved and their "account ability" or capacity to explain their activities in a credible manner. Account ability is related to the social, cultural, and spatial aspects of how news is produced and distributed and to the peculiar requirements of the format of news communications. Social, cultural, spatial, and communications format dimensions create different environments of account ability across the various organizational contexts of criminal justice, for example, among policing, prosecution, adjudication, punishment, and lawmaking.
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Accountability; Media coverage; Police-media relations; Public information
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.