Since British Hacking Scandal, Police-Press Relations Have Tanked


New research shows that relations between British police press officers and crime reporters have become increasingly frayed since the phone hacking scandal, reports the Guardian. BBC correspondent Guy Smith questioned about 100 press officers and crime journalists as part of a dissertation project at the Chartered Institute of Public Relations in London. His 50-page report documents a growing gulf in understanding between the two groups, “indicating that police media staff little appreciate the level of despair displayed by journalists.”

Last November, Justice Brian Levenson issued a withering 2,000-page report about the ethics of the British press, and those findings led to statutory-backed restraints on the press. Police are much more leery of speaking with journalists. One reporter told Smith, “Since Leveson, it has been almost impossible to do the job. I am unable to speak to officers I have known for two decades.” Smith concluded, “The results suggest both (reporters and press officers) have low professional opinions of each other in terms of manipulating information.”

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