Chibnall Revisited: Crime Reporters, the Police and ‘Law-and-Order News’
The relationship between the police and the news media is an integral part of how police forces communicate into the public sphere. Using, as a benchmark, Chibnall's influential account of English crime reporting, Law-and-Order News, and drawing on Habermas's concept of the public sphere, this paper examines the contemporary police–media relationship. It analyses the rise of police corporate communications against the apparent decline of specialist crime reporting drawing on interviews with crime reporters, police communications managers and a survey of police forces in England, Wales and Scotland. The paper concludes that ‘law-and-order news’ currently remains contested but the relationship is increasingly asymmetrical in favour of the police.