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Title: The presentation of police in everyday life: Police-press relations, impression management and the Leveson Inquiry
Authors: Mawby, Robert I.
First Published: 13-Nov-2014
Publisher: SAGE Publications Ltd.
Citation: Crime, Media, Culture, 2014, 10 (3), pp. 239-257
Abstract: In 2012 the Leveson Inquiry investigated relations between the police and the press, examining the routine systems and processes of police-press relations in the UK and, more specifically, the conduct of senior Metropolitan Police Service officers during an investigation into phone-hacking (Operation Caryatid). The Inquiry is notable in that it shone a light on a normally hidden policing function; it brought the backstage processes of police-media relations, part of police ‘image work’, to the frontstage area. This article considers the Leveson Inquiry and the data it collected as a case study of police impression management - it examines how the police sought to manage impressions about how they manage impressions. It takes a dramaturgical approach drawing on the work of Erving Goffman and Peter K Manning, combined with impression management concepts drawn from management and organisational studies. The article concludes that the identified impression management tactics used by different police ‘teams’ combined to protect the collective police image and to reinforce, for the present, the dominant position of the police in their relationship with the press.
DOI Link: 10.1177/1741659014558433
ISSN: 1741-6590
eISSN: 1741-6604
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Archived with reference to SHERPA/RoMEO and publisher website. Version of record:
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Criminology

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