Work in progress to be published by Routledge 2023-24.
Media representations of policing – whether news, crime drama or documentaries – are for most people a key influence in shaping not only perceptions about the nature of policing but also opinions about crime and law and order more generally. For the police, media representations of their work are key in terms of fostering trust and legitimacy in their organisation.
This book aims to give policing and criminology students and police professionals an overview of the complex relationships between the police, the press and the public and the shifting techniques and technologies through which they communicate. It explores the massive social, cultural and political changes that have affected police and media relations over the last forty years, and how these have contributed to changing representations of the police and policing.
In particular, it explores the advent of digital technologies and their effect on police image work and on operational policing; the greater powers of sousveillance and surveillance of police activities afforded to the press and the public; and the emergence of the new investigative journalism start-ups.
It argues that new technologies are increasingly allowing the police to bypass traditional media organisations altogether; but it also explores how the new start-ups are increasingly taking over traditional media’s Fourth Estate role and forging new collaborations with members of the public in reporting crime news.
The book will be of interest to policing students and researchers, to police professionals and to those with an interest in policing, the media and the relationship between the two.