“the Media Are More of a Hindrance Than a Help to the Police in Combating Crime”. Discuss.

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“The media are more of a hindrance than a help to the police in combating crime”. Discuss.

The relationship between the police and the mass media have long been the subject of intense debate. The mass media and the police have different roles in the public eye causing the media to be of concern to the police. Historically and in the contemporary era the police have had to meet high expectations of being the public’s crime-fighter. It is the police’s role to prevent crime, maintain order and protect the public (Carrabine, 2009) whilst, the media fulfil a role that is supposed to challenge the state institutions on behalf of the public.

Media handling in serious crime investigations is a complex issue. On the one hand, they provide the public with access to information and help generate important information for an enquiry. For example, since its first broadcast in 1984, Crimewatch UK has sought help and information from the public in order to solve crime (Carter and Branston et al., 2002). On the other hand, the media can mislead the public and interfere with the investigative legal processes. As a whole the media plays a critical role in shaping the public’s views by exposing corruption and the activities of the powerful and of agencies of control such as the police (Croall, 2005). More to the point the media are there to maximise audience revenue to get money and to entertain via means of print, audio, visual and social media. Whereas, the police are the primary protection for the public for fears of crime and disorder. These conflicting roles both agencies hold within society demonstrates why their relationship can be equally rewarding and challenging.

Focusing mostly on television, this essay shall cover other types of media and also, literature evidence from the past fifty years to identify how the portrayal of the police by the media has changed and how…...

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