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Good Cop-Bad Cop: Mass Media and the Cycle of Police Reform

Jarret S. Lovell
ISBN: 978-1-881798-49-1
2003/177 pages
A CriminalJusticePress Project
"This book is a must for law enforcement agencies who are trying to form a public information office, and it also is a must for public information officers who are just starting out their careers. Lovell gives excellent insight on the history of law enforcement and the media and how the two have come together over much disparity."—Dana Richerson, Police Practice and Research

"Lovell's book is both eye-opener and cautionary, a solid foundation for further classroom exploration."—Penelope J. Hanke, Criminal Justice Review 


Good Cop/Bad Cop offers the first extended review of the influence of the mass media on local and federal law enforcement in the US.  Adopting an interdisciplinary approach and drawing on popular characterizations of law enforcement from movies, newspapers, television, and literature, Jarret Lovell reveals police reform is inextricably linked to the rise and technological development of the mass media. He also shows how law enforcement officials exert a powerful influence on media coverage of crime and justice policies and practices.

Data from the author's national study of police-media relations uniquely enrich the analysis.


Jarret S. Lovell is associate professor of politics, administration, and justice at California State University, Fullerton.