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 international, it's a well timed and interesting contextualisation of the historical past of published crime information and investigative journalism.
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Extra resources for Crime News in Modern Britain: Press Reporting and Responsibility, 1820–2010
Mrs Broderick was a stereotypical good woman in terms of her representation in the media, but the wife who had provoked her beating by being ‘given to habits of intoxication, smoking and other filthy personal habits’, and consequently neglecting the amenities of home and so the comfort of her husband, could not expect sympathy from the courts. 81 Under such circumstances, even drunken violence from a husband was treated sympathetically, with the subtext being that the man felt driven to 78 79 80 81 Morning Chronicle, 9 August 1856.
In his view, the papers could teach the law to the public better than ‘even Lord Brougham himself’. 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.
Lewis (1982) The Victorian Bar (London: Robert Hale) p. 39. 45 This was an initially unsolved murder, finally resolved by the 1865 confession of Constance Kent to the murder of her half-brother. See N. Kyle (2009) A Greater Guilt. Constance Emilie Kent and the Road Murder (Salisbury: Boolarong Press). 46 Lawyers could be trusted to comprehend the nuances involved in preparing material of acute public interest which avoided overstepping the mark of legal propriety. In this, the established tradition of journalistic anonymity, covering also the work of the reporters, was seen as an indispensable asset.