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Murder in our MidstComparing Crime Coverage Ethics in an Age of Globalized News$
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Romayne Smith Fullerton and Maggie Jones Patterson

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780190863531

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190863531.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use.date: 26 January 2022

Ambivalent Behavior in Portugal, Spain, and Italy

Ambivalent Behavior in Portugal, Spain, and Italy

The Commitment to Maybe

(p.147) 8 Ambivalent Behavior in Portugal, Spain, and Italy
Murder in our Midst

Crime Coverage

Oxford University Press

In the three countries that make up the Ambivalent model—Italy, Spain, and Portugal—police may or may not choose to inform crime reporters when a suspect has been arrested. Arrest records do not become public until official charges are filed, and the prosecutor/judge determines that the suspect will be held for trial. This relatively closed approach protects both the police investigation and the suspect’s right to the presumption of innocence, but unofficial actions reflect a lack of commitment to those purposes. The seal on records can spring leaks. Police and prosecutors dole out details about the accused and the alleged crime to the press—but they often favor news outlets whose coverage they like. Reporters, in turn, court police for such favors with the stories they produce. If police are not forthcoming, reporters often seek details from witnesses and hope police will confirm what they find.

Keywords:   clientelism, arrest, favoritism, police, crime, leaks, presumption of innocence

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