By Judith Rowbotham
Drawing jointly examples from broadsheet and tabloid newspapers this account of English crime reportage takes readers from the past due eighteenth century to the current day. within the post-Leveson global, it's a well timed and interesting contextualisation of the historical past of revealed crime information and investigative journalism.
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Extra info for Crime News in Modern Britain: Press Reporting and Responsibility, 1820–2010
38 Crime News in Modern Britain drink by his wife’s actions, and so she bore considerable culpability for her own beating. Such cases were rarely referred up from the summary courts, and the reportage emphasises that neglect of domestic duties by the wife was a regular and generally accepted provocation to violence which could be used effectively as mitigation for the defence. In practice, this meant that the reportage warned women that a wife who either went out to work or worked at home to earn income, consequently not spending enough time making home comfortable for the ‘real’ breadwinner, remained an acceptable target for understandable male frustration.
42 With advice such as this, it is hardly surprising to find that judges, barristers and stipendiary magistrates began to agree that they could use the power of the press to draw public attention to a vast array of legal issues and topics. These ranged from the highly academic and technical to the more straightforward and accessible; from the esoteric and philosophical to the moral and ethical; from treatises and essays to tracts and pamphlets. Above all, though, it gave an opportunity to draw attention to the increasingly professional legal content.
19 Channing, ‘Punishment and Prevention of Crime’, Chartist Circular, 11 January 1840. 20 ‘Poverty Punished as a Crime’, Northern Star and Leeds General Advertiser, 16 May 1840. 21 ‘Cost of “Crime” ’, Northern Star and Leeds General Advertiser, 11 December 1841. 22 Not only were the legal profession, as well as other establishment figures, attacked by this arm of the popular press; they were themselves concerned about the coverage of crime and law in even the mainstream, less radical, national press.
Crime News in Modern Britain: Press Reporting and Responsibility, 1820–2010 by Judith Rowbotham