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NCJ Number: 211649 Find in a Library
Title: Maintaining Legitimacy Using External Communication Strategies: An Analysis of Police-Media Relations
Journal: Journal of Criminal Justice  Volume:33  Issue:5  Dated:September/October 2005  Pages:501-512
Author(s): Steven Chermak; Alexander Weiss
Date Published: September 2005
Page Count: 12
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined the relationship between police and media organizations, considered one of the most important inter-organizational relations that the police must manage and how police and public information officers perceive their relationship with the media.
Abstract: Police organizations are in a constant struggle to maintain and increase their legitimacy within the social control structure of society. In order to manufacture a legitimate reputation, police organizations must contend with the force of the news media. This study used data collected from a national sample of police media personnel in order to fill the gap on the limited understanding of the variables driving how police and media evaluate their relationship. Police and media personnel were surveyed in large-sized cities to identify the variables influencing their ratings about their relationship. The focus was on uncovering explanations for what was described as a symbiotic relationship between these two organizations. It was demonstrated that police perceptions of this relationship was strongly influenced by their ability to tap into the power of the media to generate support for the organization. A proactive strategy implemented by police organizations to try to manage the external pressure of the media is the appointment of public information officers (PIOs). Public information officers recognize the power of the media and attempt to use this power to promote the organizations. News personnel are satisfied because the police provide data or information so they can easily produce crime stories. References
Main Term(s): Police-media relations
Index Term(s): Community relations; Media support; Police-citizen interactions; Press relations; Public Opinion of the Police
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