Criminology

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By Jon Silverman

Media clamour on concerns in terms of crime, justice and civil liberties hasn't ever been extra insistent. if it is the homicide of James Bulger or detaining terrorist suspects for lengthy classes with out trial, mediated remark has grown immeasurably over the last twenty years. So, how does it have interaction with and form coverage in those fields? How do the politicians either reply to and check out to control the media which permeates our society and culture?

Crime, coverage and the Media is the 1st educational textual content to map the connection among a quickly altering media and policymaking in felony justice. Spanning the interval, 1989-2010, it examines a couple of case reports – terrorism, medicinal drugs, sentencing, policing and public safety, among others – and interrogates key policy-makers (including six former domestic Secretaries, a former Lord leader Justice, Attorney-General, senior law enforcement officials, govt advisers and best commentators) in regards to the impression of the media on their considering and perform.

Bolstered through content material and framing research, it argues that, specially, within the final decade, worry of media feedback and the day-by-day Mail impact has limited the policymaking time table in crime and justice, concluding that the increasing impact of the web and net 2.0 has began to undermine many of the ways that businesses equivalent to the police have received and held a presentational virtue.

Written via a former BBC domestic Affairs Correspondent, with unrivalled entry to the top reaches of policy-making, it truly is either academically rigorous and obtainable and may be of curiosity to either students and practitioners in media and felony justice.

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Extra info for Crime, Policy and the Media: The Shaping of Criminal Justice, 1989-2010

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Separation of powers means you stay out of that. It is perfectly open to the Home Secretary, if he is unhappy about something, to refer it quietly to the law office and ask them to look at it. Then, it is approached on a dispassionate basis. But once a Home Office spokesman had briefed [the media], that raised it to a political level. Interview with author, 14 November 20082 Reid’s predecessor, Jack Straw, was also perturbed about his heavy-handed comments on the Sweeney sentence: It was ridiculous and I am highly critical of John for that.

In September 2004, the council, chaired by Lord Woolf, issued draft guidelines on sentences for murder which indicated that murderers who pleaded guilty could earn a discount of up to one-third from their sentence. This proposal called down a tabloid firestorm on the Lord Chief Justice’s head: Lord Woolf is mightily out of step with mainstream public opinion, putting at risk respect for the law. He is also arrogantly overturning the policies of a government, which was elected on the specific promise it would get tough on crime.

Interview with author, 21 June 2010 But real cases present politicians, whatever their intentions, with hard choices. In the Sweeney controversy, Vera Baird insists that her intervention was not motivated by the same populist instinct as that of John Reid: My position was not his, which was simply: ‘this is a soft sentence which is making people in my constituency angry’. My take on it was different. By the time I made my comments, the issue was no longer an outcry against a judge but on the IPP sentence which the Daily Mail would have spun as, ‘only a small amount of time in prison, with the rest of the sentence in the hands of unspecified social worker types’ who are not necessarily representative of ‘white van man’.

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