Police and media relations in an era of Freedom of Information
journal contributionposted on 16.08.2010, 08:25 by Louise Cooke, R. Paul Sturges
Changes to how police forces in England and Wales are working to manage their public image in an environment of heightened accountability and transparency are explored. The locus of control of information shaping the portrayal of the police in the news media is discussed, as is the impact of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. The findings from case studies of two police forces in the East Midlands are reported. The case studies indicate that, whilst police and media co-operation is not a new phenomenon, UK police forces are becoming increasingly proactive, strategic and professionalized in their use of the news media. For their part, the media are dependent on the news ‘fed’ to them on a regular basis by police press relations units. Nevertheless, thanks in particular to their use of the FOIA 2000, the media continue to play a role as independent watchdog and reporter of police activity.
- Information Science