Pub. date: 2004 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952415 | Print ISBN: 9780761926498 | Online ISBN: 9781412952415| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
News Media and Police
Natasha A. Frost
Only a very small portion of the public has any direct contact with the criminal justice system. Although citizens have more opportunities to interact with the police than they do with other public servants or government employees, they still get most of their information regarding police activity from the media. From the perspective of both the police and the media, police–media relations, although often contentious, are vitally important. The news media are always looking for stories that will capture audience attention and inform residents of events that occur in their locality. Reports of crime often fit that bill. Because the police make good official sources, local crime reporters often develop working relationships with local law enforcement and turn to the police for information on a daily basis. Police departments, for their part, recognize the power of the media and, where possible, use it to their advantage. In the immediate aftermath ...