Drawing on interviews with journalists, senior police and press officers, this is the first ethnographic study of crime news reporting in the UK for over 25 years. It explores changes over the last 40 years, including the aftermath of the Leveson Report and the breakdown of relations between the Met and the mainstream media.
The book argues that new investigative journalism non-profits have been slowly repairing the field of crime journalism and reporting with – and not on – stigmatised communities.
Nevertheless, the police continue to control the flow of policing news to the press and the public. Despite the radical transformation of the Fourth Estate, in the case of the police it has never been so restricted in its ability to speak truth to power.
"Colbran's is an admirably original, meticulous and compelling study of the developing relations between the police and the mass media as technologies, forms of enquiry and the balance of power between institutions change." Paul Rock, The London School of Economics
“Colbran skilfully examines four decades of crime and investigative reporting in the UK in a nuanced study on representational harms by and through the media and ways to address them.” Justin Ellis, University of Newcastle, Australia
“Colbran interrogates 40 years of the police/media/public relationship in the UK, bringing fresh insights on crime news reporting in a digital society. A must-read for those seeking to understand the current state of play, as well as the historical roots, of the police–media relationship.” Alyce McGovern, University of New South Wales
“In the constantly shifting digital media landscape, this book provides a granular overview of affairs in the UK. A must for students and scholars interested in the relationship between police, crime reporting and media.” Murray Lee, University of Sydney
Marianne Colbran is Visiting Research Fellow at the Mannheim Centre for Criminology at the London School of Economics. She was previously a television scriptwriter for the British police show, The Bill.
1. Why Study Crime News?
2. The Metropolitan Police
3. Police ‘Control’ and the UK National Press
4. The Phone-Hacking Scandal
5. The Effect of Digital Platforms on the Police and the Media
6. The Rise of the New Investigative Journalism Start-Ups
7. The Changing Face of Crime News
8. How Does the Fourth Estate Work Now in Crime and Investigative Reporting?