Police Images

Jean‐Paul Brodeur

in The Policing Web

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9780199740598
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199866083 | DOI:

Series: Studies in Crime and Public Policy

Police Images

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Chapter 3 examines the portrayal of policing by the press and in works of crime fiction. First, press coverage is analyzed in terms of content and process. Its content focuses on serious violent crime and the untypical criminal offender. Depending on the newspaper, radio, or television network, the police are favorably or unfavorably portrayed. The process of making news is highly constrained by factors such as meeting deadlines, formatting news stories, and competing with other media. Second, the depiction of policing in crime literature and television serials is analyzed. Although these channels present an inverted picture of crime investigation, they have a significant impact on the public representation of policing, indelibly linked to the struggle against violent crime. It is finally argued that the press and police fiction jointly produce a “low definition environment,” where the difference between facts, news stories, and fiction is systematically blurred.

Keywords: media; content; process; press; television; literature; fiction

Chapter.  10888 words. 

Subjects: Criminal Law

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