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Title: Crime time: The rise of police programming on television
Contributor(s): Wise, Jenny  (author)orcid ; McGovern, Alyce (author)
Publication Date: 2012
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Abstract: As consumers of popular culture and news programming, we are surrounded by images of crime, law enforcement and the criminal justice system on an almost daily basis. Correlating with the emergence of risk societies (Beck 1992; Horsfield 1997; Ungar 2001), public fascination with crime and justice continues to grow. We only need to think about the almost fanatical way in which the Australian public has consumed the television crime series 'Underbelly' to see this in action. This fascination has only been compounded by the many changes and developments we have seen in the media in recent years. For example, the arrival of the internet and other new technologies has challenged traditional media formats, such as newspapers, and the demand for immediate news content and the reduction of journalist deadlines mean that we now operate under a 24-hour news cycle (Goldsmith 2010; Lewis et al. 2005; R. C. Mawby 2010). Mason (2002) argues that part of the reason we are so fascinated with crime and justice is that most of us have very limited direct contact or experience with these matters, and thus we rely on media reports and representations of them for our knowledge. There is almost a mystique around all things 'crime'. ... It comes as no surprise then that media formats are cashing in on this public fascination with crime. In recent years we have seen an increasing amount of law-and-order-related programming on television, with depictions of crime, criminals and the criminal justice system dominating television screens both locally and globally. Consuming television programmes that depict criminal investigations, whether factual or fictional, has become a significant leisure activity for a large proportion of the population in Western societies. ... The popularity of this criminal investigation genre has not been limited to the dramatization of television programmes. Rather, the fascination with police and their crime-solving activities has created an increased public interest in the non-fictional practice of police officers and detectives. As a result, the reality or documentary television format has been flooded with 'fly-on-the-wall'-style programs which aim to give viewers an insight into the 'true' nature of policing. ... Considering the significant role that television plays in the leisure-time activities of contemporary lifestyles, it is important to identify the potential consequences of an increased police profile on television. This chapter will explore some of the many issues raised by these fictional and factual representations of policing, including the effects of these portrayals on audiences and policing agencies alike.
Publication Type: Book Chapter
Source of Publication: The Problem of Pleasure: Leisure, Tourism and Crime, p. 20-31
Publisher: Routledge
Place of Publication: New York, United States of America
ISBN: 9780415672580
Field of Research (FOR): 160299 Criminology not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 940499 Justice and the Law not elsewhere classified
940404 Law Enforcement
HERDC Category Description: B1 Chapter in a Scholarly Book
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Appears in Collections:Book Chapter

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