role of the media:
Over the past decade the mass media has become an
important aspect in major criminal investigations. Investigators encourage
publicity and exposure for on-going case in order to support and assist them
with acquiring more knowledge. A result it could be a crucial part of the investigation
weather that is identifying an individual or help them comprehend how the crime
occurred, investigators strategically utilise the media to their advantage. The SIO of the
investigation needs to have the aptitude and capability to
efficiently, ensure that media strategy for the investigation is robust enough
to ensure that they remain in charge of press releases and that they maintain
ownership and control.
Investigators acknowledge the power of the media as
a result utilised the power it holds. Most investigators view the media as a mixed
blessing (Stelfox, 2009).
The relationship between the police and the media is “an enduring, if not ecstatically happy, marriage” as Sir Robert mark
the commissioner of the metropolitan police stated in 1971. Most media outlets
are just interested acquiring material to provide information that is perceived
as worthy news. That modern news is influenced by entertainment industry and
that they are driven by visualising deviance as “Deviance is the defining characteristic of what journalists regard as newsworthy”
(Ericson et al., 1987). Ericson
and his collages conducting the study on visualising deviance, stated that the
high proportion of news that is portrayed about deviance and control. The media
portrays a distorted image of crime through their selection of certain stories
which are dedicated to deviance.
Murder cases especially those that contain suspicious
death remain the most common crime that is portrayed in media and highly likely
to attract intense media and public interest. Violent acts will strong visual graphical
impact are highly likely to tract the media interest. Correspondingly, the trends
in the media imply a progressively threatening image of crime in news stories.
This is compounded by the more negative and destructive representations of the
police (Mason, 2012).
In most major criminal investigations, credible
material is accumulated at an in the initial crime scene assessment stage,
which later on provides a clear focus for the line enquiries of the
investigation. Evidently cases that accumulate relevant materials in the early
stages are distinguished relatively quickly. Only a minority of investigations
are complex when materials aren’t composed in the early stages. Then next initial
stage for the investigation is to use the media as an investigative tool and release
information, frequently this is last possibility when all other inquiries have
been exhausted. Using the media is often an advantage when investigator have
However, there is no assurance that a story will be
reported in ways that has a positive impact to the investigation. There have
been incidents where a story has been reported in an unsupportive manner
regarding the investigation. Simply due to the fact that it constructs a better
story and is news worthy or isn’t reported at all because its considered as
ordinary and mundane. There is a danger when realising information to the media
as the case may be sensualised in ways that ultimately misconstrue the level of
threat and the investigation.