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Making Waves Behind BarsThe Prison Radio Association$
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Charlotte Bedford

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781529203363

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781529203363.001.0001

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Changing The Prison Narrative: The PRA and News Media

Changing The Prison Narrative: The PRA and News Media

(p.121) 6 Changing The Prison Narrative: The PRA and News Media
Making Waves Behind Bars

Charlotte Bedford

Policy Press

This chapter asserts that the Prison Radio Association (PRA) experience illustrates the problematic relationship between mainstream media and prison practice. It uses the PRA position to examine the interplay between media and public opinion, and the resulting impact on criminal justice policy and practice. The issues are then explored more fully through the analysis of three contemporary newspaper stories which PRA founders identify as impacting on the organisation's early approach to managing outside media attention. The examples from the Guardian, the Daily Mail, and The Sun newspapers illustrate the codependent relationship between mass media coverage, populist politics, and perceived public opinion when it comes to the issue of crime and punishment.

Keywords:   PRA, mainstream media, prison practice, public opinion, criminal justice, punishment, Guardian, Daily Mail, The Sun, Prison Radio Association

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