Media Influence On Law Enforcement

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Media’s Influence on Public Opinion of Law Enforcement

Television, movies, and other mass media sources use persuasion in commercials, product placement, etc. but what about in the content? Is what one sees perceived as true and factual? How are people influenced by media (Postman, 161)? More importantly, how are people influenced by media to view those called upon for help when in need? The overabundance of media relating to crime has not only influenced public opinion but has also triggered changes for law enforcement personnel. The bias (or incorrect/incomplete) views of news media have contributed to a negative opinion of law enforcement officers. Television programs and movies have portrayed false realities of the lives of law enforcement …show more content…

After all, news programming is meant to relay facts and inform of recent events. Does that mean undertone opinions should be adapted? When attempting to be the “first to report” a story, the lack of hesitation may allow for a story to be aired without all the facts. In the recent high profile events involving law enforcement, many times it initially appears the officer did something wrong. Viewers are incited, accusations fly, protests begin, and violence erupts creating a whole new situation for law enforcement fueled by media (Carlson, 91). The bias (or incorrect/incomplete) views of news media have contributed to a negative opinion of law enforcement …show more content…

Although everyone loved police officers on September 12, 2001 (McLaughlin), times have changed and the entire criminal justice system as a whole has adjusted. Public policy making and strategies are just the tip of the iceberg for these changes (Dowler). Of 600 polled law enforcement agencies by the International Association of Chiefs of Police's Center for Social Media findings, 92% percent use some form of social media (90% use Facebook, 50% use Twitter, and 37% use YouTube). Ironically, although media caused the negative bias and false expectations, social media is viewed as effective by 2/3 of the departments in the poll in improving community relations, not to mention assisting in investigations (qtd. in Siner). The implementation of dash cameras as well as body cameras by more and more departments can help in solving crimes as well as put the community more at ease because everything is being recorded

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