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We Predict a Riot?: Public Order Policing, New Media Environments and the Rise of the Citizen Journalist

NCJ Number
British Journal of Criminology Volume: 50 Issue: 6 Dated: November 2010 Pages: 1041-1059
Chris Greer; Eugene McLaughlin
Date Published
November 2010
19 pages
This article develops an analysis of the changing nature of news media reporting of public protests as evidenced in coverage of the G20 Summit in London in April 2009.
This article explores the rise of 'citizen journalism' and considers its implications for the policing and news media reporting of public protests in the 21st century. Our research focuses on the use and impact of multimedia technologies during the 2009 G20 Summit Protests in London and evaluates their role in shaping the subsequent representation of 'protest as news'. The classic concepts of 'inferential structure' (Lang and Lang 1955) and 'hierarchy of credibility' (Becker 1967) are resituated within the context of the 24-7 news mediasphere to analyze the transition in news media focus at G20 from 'protester violence' to police violence'. This transition is understood in terms of three key issues: the capacity of technologically empowered citizen journalists to produce information that challenges the 'official' version of events; the inclination of professional and citizen journalists to actively seek out and use that information; and the existence of an information-communications marketplace that sustains the commodification and mass consumption of adversarial, anti-establishment news. (Published Abstract) References


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