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NCJ Number: 64296 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: OFFICER, MEET THE PRESS
Journal: FBI LAW ENFORCEMENT BULLETIN  Volume:48  Issue:11  Dated:(NOVEMBER 1979)  Pages:13-15
Author(s): R D GADDIS; C R O'DANIEL
Corporate Author: Federal Bureau of Investigation
US Dept of Justice
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 3
Sponsoring Agency: Federal Bureau of Investigation
Washington, DC 20535-0001
Publisher: https://www.fbi.gov 
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES CAN AVOID PROBLEMS WITH THE NEWS MEDIA AND IMPROVE THEIR RELATIONSHIPS WITH THE PRESS BY HAVING THE NECESSARY INFORMATION AND PRESENTING IT ACCURATELY TO MEDIA JOURNALISTS.
Abstract: THIS IS PARTICULARLY IMPORTANT TO A SMALL POLICE DEPARTMENT WHICH MAY BE OVERLOOKED BY THE MEDIA, SINCE LARGE DEPARTMENTS HAVE THE ADVANTAGE OF AN ESTABLISHED PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICE WITH PEOPLE SPECIALLY TRAINED FOR THE JOB. THE FIRST STEP FOR A SMALL DEPARTMENT IS TO DESIGNATE A PERSON TO BE THE INFORMATION OFFICER (IO) WHO WOULD BE RESPONSIBLE FOR REVIEWING DAILY REPORTS ON POLICE ACTIVITY WITH ATTENTION TO BOTH MAJOR AND MINOR CRIMES. THE DEPARTMENT SHOULD DEVELOP WRITTEN GUIDELINES FOR THE IO REGARDING THE KIND OF INFORMATION WHICH CAN BE RELEASED TO THE MEDIA AND THE BEST WAY TO RELEASE IT. THE IO SHOULD CONTACT VARIOUS MEDIA REPRESENTATIVES TO DETERMINE WHAT THEY CONSIDER NEWSWORTHY. IN MOST LOCALES, POLICE AND THE MEDIA HAVE DEFINITE POLICIES REGARDING THE CRIMINAL SITUTATIONS IN WHICH THEY SHARE AN INTEREST. THESE INCLUDE REPORTABLE CRIMES, ARRESTS, AND NONREPORTABLE INCIDENTS. SUCH CRITERIA SHOULD BE AGREED ON AND UNDERSTOOD BY BOTH PARTIES. THE IO SHOULD ALSO BE FAMILIAR WITH LOCAL AND STATE LAWS ON CRIME REPORTING AND BE AWARE OF THE RULES OF EVIDENCE IN ORDER TO DETERMINE WHAT MAY OR MAY NOT BE RELEASED. AN EXCELLENT METHOD FOR REPORTING POLICE INFORMATION TO THE PRESS IS TO HAVE A PREPARED FORM WHICH THE IO COMPLETES. ITEMS THAT SHOULD BE CONSIDERED FOR USE IN THE POLICE PRESS RELEASE FORM INCLUDE REPORT NUMBER, DATE AND TIME OF OFFENSE, TYPE OF CRIME, PERSONS ARRESTED, CHARGES, AND A SUMMARY OF HOW THE CRIME OCCURRED. MEDIA COVERAGE CAN MAKE THE PUBLIC AWARE OF CRIMES AND CRIME TRENDS AS WELL AS ENABLE POLICE TO CHECK THE ACCURACY OF LOCAL REPORTING. PHOTOGRAPHS AND A SAMPLE PRESS RELEASE FORM ARE INCLUDED. (MJW)
Index Term(s): Media coverage; Police community relations; Press relations; Public education; Public relations programs
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=64296

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