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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 78585 Find in a Library
Title: International Summaries: Police Press Agency as an Intermediary Between Crime and Criminal Reporting
Author(s): K H Reuband
Corporate Author: National Institute of Justice/NCJRS
United States of America
Date Published: Unknown
Page Count: 4
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
National Institute of Justice/NCJRS
Rockville, MD 20849
US Dept of Justice NIJ Pub
Washington, DC 20531
Contract Number: J-LEAA-023-77
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS Publication Sales
Box 6000 Department F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The relationship between the representation of crime presented by West German police press agencies and newspaper coverage is analyzed on the basis of interviews with agency employees and newspaper articles.
Abstract: Police press releases are the most important newspaper sources for crime information as well as reporters' closest source to the actual criminal events. Police press agencies, found in most large German cities and staffed by police officers or former newspaper reporters, centralize crime information and permit the police to control the information flow. The press agencies issue 4 to 16 releases daily covering stories of interest to newspapers and traffic news. Sources of such releases are police reports on criminals and information gathered from various police divisions, as well as telephone and telegraph bulletins. The selection process requires careful consideration of the news potential of stories and public relations work with the police officers involved: criteria include (1) police needs and regulations, and (2) journalistic interests. In the releases, crimes of violence are overrepresented, so that the crime types covered bear no resemblance to statistical reality; from 1969 to 1975 and after 1975 violent crimes dominate the releases. Contrary to what was previously believed, some correlation seems to exist between a rise in the monthly tally of violent crimes and the tendency of police press officials to include violent crimes, or alternatively thefts, in the releases. Crime releases have the best chance of being chosen and traffic reports the worst, with violent crimes receiving the most coverage of all crimes (6 percent of all crimes, 37 percent of police press releases, and 47 percent of news stories taken from police releases) and being most likely to appear on the front page of the newspaper (68 percent). A bibliography, tables, and notes are furnished.
Index Term(s): Germany; Media coverage; Police reports; Press relations; Press releases; Public Attitudes/Opinion; Public relations programs; Violent crimes
Note: This article, summarized and translated from German by Kathleen Dell'Orto, was originally published in West Germany in 1978. NIJ/NCJRS international summary of "Die Polizeipressestelle als Vermittlungsinstanz zwischen Kriminalitatsgeschehen und Kriminalberichterstallung" (NCJ-060801)
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