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NCJ Number: 210327 Find in a Library
Title: Police-Media Relations at Critical Incidents: Interviews From Oklahoma City
Journal: International Journal of Police Science and Management  Volume:7  Issue:2  Dated:Summer 2005  Pages:86-97
Author(s): Tory J. Caeti; John Liederbach; Steven S. Bellew
Date Published: 2005
Page Count: 12
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This study explored the dynamics of police-media relations at critical incident scenes.
Abstract: Critical incident policing, such as the type of policing that occurs at natural disasters, hazardous materials spills, and terrorist attacks, has been thrown into the public eye as a result of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Due to the attention-grabbing quality of these critical incidents, police professionals have found that they must build and maintain relationships with media professionals who often pursue news-making goals that are in direct conflict with law enforcement goals. The current study sought to explore the views of law enforcement officers regarding their relations with media at critical incident scenes by analyzing interview data from 11 officers who policed the 1995 bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. The interviews focused on the officers’ general orientation toward the media, the specific content of the officers’ interactions with the media at the bombing site, and officers’ reactions at the trials of McVeigh and Nicholls. The findings consistently suggest the need for police executives to develop clear guidelines for officers regarding interactions with members of the media. The data also indicate that conflict is not a necessary byproduct of relations between media and law enforcement and that the creation of guidelines can open and enhance lines of communication. Tables, notes, references
Main Term(s): Perception; Police-media relations
Index Term(s): Critical incident stress; Media coverage; Police attitudes
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