1st Edition

Policing and Media Public Relations, Simulations and Communications

By Murray Lee, Alyce McGovern Copyright 2014
    264 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    264 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book examines the relationship between police, media and the public and analyses the shifting techniques and technologies through which they communicate. In a critical discussion of contemporary and emerging modes of mediatized police work, Lee and McGovern demonstrate how the police engage with the public through a fluid and quickly expanding assemblage of communications and information technologies.

    Policing and Media explores the rationalities that are driving police/media relations and asks; how these relationships differ (or not) from the ways they have operated historically; what new technologies are influencing and being deployed by policing organizations and police public relations professionals and why; how operational policing is shaping and being shaped by new technologies of communication; and what forms of resistance are evident to the manufacture of preferred images of police. The authors suggest that new forms of simulated and hyper real policing using platforms such as social media and reality television are increasingly positioning police organisations as media organisations, and in some cases enabling police to bypass the traditional media altogether. The book is informed by empirical research spanning ten years in this field and includes chapters on journalism and police, policing and social media, policing and reality television, and policing resistances.

    It will be of interest to those researching and teaching in the fields of Criminology, Policing and Media, as well as police and media professionals.

    Introduction  Part I: Police and media: setting the scene  1. Locating police media public relations  2. The logics of image work  3. 'Simulated policing': framing contemporary polcie media work  Part II: Simulated policing  4. Policing the press release  5. Policing social media  6. Policing reality television  Part III: Policing the police  7. New technologies and struggles of representation  8. Resistance and old media  9. Appendix; research methods.


    Murray Lee is Director of the Sydney institute of Criminology and an Associate Professor in Criminology at the University of Sydney Faculty of Law. He is the author of Inventing Fear of Crime and co-author of Fear of Crime: Critical Voices in an Age of Anxiety, both published by Routledge.

    Alyce McGovern is Senior Lecturer in Criminology and Criminology Program Convenor at the University of New South Wales.

    ‘Murray Lee and Alyce McGovern have written an innovative and important book. Based on cutting-edge empirical research and covering topics including social media, "simulated policing", police self-image and self-regulation, this book takes the field of police and media several leaps forward and can genuinely lay claim to being a new direction in critical criminology.’

    Yvonne Jewkes, Professor of Criminology, University of Leicester, UK.

    ‘Lee and McGovern meticulously detail how the media, and especially new media, is fundamentally altering the relationship between the police and the public. Policing and Media insightfully illuminates the various ways police are harnessing media to achieve diverse impacts in society and demonstrates how they are reshaping policing of the future by doing so. This highly accessible and invaluable resource is crucial reading for scholars of criminology, sociology and the media and is a must-read for policing and media practitioners.’

    Sharon Pickering, Australian Research Council Professorial Future Fellow and Professor of Criminology, Monash University, Australia. 

    ‘Murray Lee and Alyce McGovern have produced an authoritative analysis of police communications in our increasingly mediated world. They skilfully blend theoretical insights with empirical research to build a convincing argument that the divide between operational policing and police media work is collapsing into "simulated policing". Police media and public relations are important but under-researched areas and the authors should be congratulated for writing this accessible, accomplished and much-needed book.’

    Rob Mawby, Reader in Criminology, University of Leicester, UK.

    'Lee and McGovern realise that, as policing and media continue to evolve in the 21st Century, so too must the theories and methods used to research them. Bringing new theoretical insights, and a methodological clarity and reflexivity that spans a decade of empirical work, the authors engage systematically with the multi-faceted intersections of policing and media. Their analyses of traditional and social media, news and reality programming, investigative and image work results in an insightful, timely and comprehensive study that genuinely succeeds in moving knowledge forwards. An impressive feat of scholarly work, and an important contribution to the literature.'

    Chris Greer, Professor of Sociology, City University London, UK.

    "Overall, Lee and McGovern have achieved a difficult feat in writing a book that reaches both their intended readerships: academics and practitioners in the fields of policing and media. They do so by carefully including original empirical research, an overview of the literature, and practical examples. Policing and Media is an informative and timely book for those specifically interested in police–community relations… Altogether, the authors have provided an in-depth analysis in a way not yet explored. In providing this critical analysis, the authors defend their argument that operational policing has changed from what it once was."

    Andrea Marie Headley, Florida International University, Punishment and Society

    "Murray Lee and Alyce McGovern’s new book examines the broad gamut of policing, media and public relations. It is, however, particularly novel and useful in its focus on new media and the ways it impacts policing… This is an important book primarily aimed at criminologists but also of interest to those concerned with the politics of policing, police accountability, and the relationship between police, the media and the public… The book makes a significant contribution to documenting and analysing the contemporary landscape of police and the media and should find a place on many undergraduate reading guides and criminologists’ bookshelves."

    Jude McCulloch, Monash University, International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy