Communicating Justice: A Comparison of Courts and Police Use of Contemporary Media

Jane Johnston, Alyce McGovern


As social media becomes firmly entrenched in professional communication practice, organizations need to consider the efficacy of their overall media praxis. Within this context, this article investigates the stakeholder communication practices of two of the most important arms of the justice system: the police and the courts. Focusing on the Australian condition, while also providing international comparisons, this paper draws on historical, sociocultural, and legal developments by the communication departments of these two sectors to identify fundamental differences in their development, motivations, and objectives, which, in turn, have placed them in vastly different positions for the transition to social media. Finally, in determining their place within the field of democratic communication practice, it positions courts and police within Habermas’ schemas of communicative and strategic action.

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