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NCJ Number: 200544 Find in a Library
Title: From Killers to Cuddlers: Analysis of News Media Coverage Regarding Law Enforcement Canines
Author(s): Charlie Mesloh; Ray Surette
Corporate Author: University of Central Florida
Dept of Criminal Justice and Legal Studies
United States of America
Date Published: June 21, 2001
Page Count: 35
Sponsoring Agency: University of Central Florida
Orlando, FL 32816
Sale Source: University of Central Florida
Dept of Criminal Justice and Legal Studies
Orlando, FL 32816
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study documented and analyzed the portrayal of police dogs developed by the print news media from 1994 through 2000.
Abstract: The study involved a national sample of 2,022 newspaper articles that yielded 250-303 articles per year on police canines. The analysis of the police dog stories produced a media-coverage typology of 5 categories: harm (stories about a police dog being harmed), n=321; canine interest (stories unrelated to a particular incident), n=1,063; capture (dog involvement in the capture of a criminal), n=349; force (excessive force by a police dog), n=154; and vest (articles about ballistic body armor for police dogs), n=96. The priority given to these categories in the media varied by time period; for example, 87 percent of the articles on dog vests occurred during 1999-2000. Prior to this period, such stories were virtually nonexistent. Stories in the category of "canine interest," on the other hand, remained relatively constant over time. The anthropomorphic reconstruction of police dogs is reflected in the media coverage, as they are rarely portrayed as vicious beasts, as was the case in the 1960's, and have been depicted as the four-footed community police officers of the 21st century. 3 tables, 5 figures, and appended list of newspapers searched regionally and sample illustrations of canine news stories
Main Term(s): Police-media relations
Index Term(s): Media coverage; Media support; Police dogs
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