Police and the media relationship

Police, Media, and Popular Culture - Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Criminology

police and the media relationship

Why do the police need media relations guidance? A professional working relationship between the police service and the media is a critical. The relationship between the police and the media is complex, multidimensional, and contingent. Since the development of modern-day policing, the police and. Among the challenges U.S. police officers perceive on the job is a widespread feeling that police are mistreated by the media.

This means that, despite the tendency to believe the information supplied by TV, news, and other forms of media, minorities in dense, poor, and heavily-policed communities, through their own experiences, understand that the truth is far often different from what is shown by the media Ashcroft et al.

The Media’s Role in Police-Community Relations - Understand Media

According to a US Census Bureau survey fromthe LA County is not only the most populous county in the country, it is also a minority majority county, meaning that the total population of non-white residents outnumber that of white, non-Hispanic residents US Census, Out of the subjects interviewed, those with only informal police contact primarily whites had high approval of police performance and officer demeanor whereas those with formal police contact primarily non-whites had low approval of them.

Additionally, community members who have only had informal contact with the police are typically more reliant on the news and other forms of media when it comes to their perception of law enforcement, and because of their heavy reliance on the media, their perception of law enforcement is much more positive and distorted than that of minorities Ashcroft, Television shows and movies such as COPS, 21 Jump Street, and End of Watch show the more humane side of law enforcement and provoke a feeling of catharsis in their audience, but they are not an accurate representation of reality.

As with any TV show, large pieces of reality are left out, and what remains is merely a false truth. Mainstream media is largely in favor of law enforcement tactics and is hardly critical of any police action.

police and the media relationship

Media researchers believe this is so because police officers and the media have a mutually beneficial relationship that perpetuates the dramatization of policing effectiveness. In other words, the police benefits from the media because their heavy influence on the white majority in the US is what helps police officers maintain their positive public image. In return, the media works together with law enforcement when it comes to reporting on specific community events or incidents.

J, et al For example, in the case of missing children media coverage is used to help encourage witnesses to come forward from the public. Scotland Yard was the first police department to establish a media press office in Mark believed that the public had a right to know what was going on in their communities.

However, this has led to limited information being handed over by the police at their discretion and the media being fed information when and if seen as appropriate.

police and the media relationship

By building relationships with the local police departments media journalists would basically call their connection at the police department and ask for various information. Functioning in this way prevented the need to go through official channels to gather the information required. Front line police officers regarded the media at this time as interfering, suspicious and a public nuisance.

In relation to media training for the police there was very little to advise officers as to how to respond or conduct themselves in the course of a press conference. There are strategies in place along with professional police media staff to take control and manage serious crimes or incidents.

The relationship between the media and the police is far becoming more complex than ever before. Their symbiotic relationship is still essential to enable the public to be kept up to date with crime stories but, this is kept within limitation.

police and the media relationship

By using the police department for crime stories to print the media are using the police to help sell newspapers, gain TV audiences and other accessible public news sources which highlights the mutual reliance they have for each other.

Through providing the media with limited information the police department are still keeping the general public up to date with crimes in their areas and public safety. When there is a serious crime incident the police will monitor and limit the information the media are given to prevent damage to the investigation or those directly involved.

Filkin Report - Met Police's Relationship With Media

The fact that this information has been given does not prevent the media from misrepresenting the facts. As citied by Yvonne Jewkes Through their portrayal the police are either made to look like crime fighting heroes or ineffective and incompetent. For the public to have a positive attitude towards the police they need to feel safe from the effectiveness of their crime fighting strategies and their implementation of punitive measures.

The incident began on the 3rd July when Raoul Moat who had recently been released from prison shot his girlfriend and killed her new boyfriend. He later shot and severely injured a local police officer. Moat avoided the police and went on the run for almost a week. The media coverage on Raoul Moat was extensive and gained international media interest.

As the incident progressed and the whereabouts of Moat became known, Moats final moments were covered by live media coverage. This has since led to many questions being raised in regards to the coverage of live incidents within communities and the behaviour of the media.

An important area that was examined was the relationship between the media and the police and how it could be improved for future reference. What this highlights however, is the need for concise and the clearer exchange of important information to maintain public safety and knowledge in any given situation.

It is also important to realise the consequences of media coverage and the affects it can have on public audiences and also family members witnessing these incidents first hand. Different age groups have varying perceptions of what they believe the role of the police should be and how the media have influenced their overall perception of their fear of crime.

police and the media relationship

According to a home office report written in young people aged between years believe there is a distinct absence of communication and knowledge with the police which has led to a lack of respect. The socio-economic group aged between years believe that the police have shown a lack of concern for their fears and also when it comes to a response to a specific incident. The majority of research that has been carried out regarding the effects of the media is done so from a positive psychological perspective.

Most officers say the media treat police unfairly

This also brought to the forefront the continual debate regarding the causal relationship between the media representation and criminal behaviour. Secondly, the change in victim crime rates or the variation in the frequency of the crimes. Finally, have the public based their beliefs on local, regional, or a national crime rates and incidents? As a result this forms a basis for the implementation of labelling, prejudices and over-simplification of the true facts. Thus, allowing the audience to morally evaluate crime and the consequences involved.

Whether the public gather their information from factual or fictional aspects of the media there will always be limitations in regards to what is viewed or written. How the public interpret this information regardless of whether the media have shaped or had an influence on them will depend on the individual themselves.

police and the media relationship

The more vulnerable they are, the more likely it is that the media will impact greatly on their perceptions within society. This can have an undesired effect on policing. How the public view the portrayal of crime and how the police are perceived to deal with crime issues may deem their effectiveness within their practice.