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Title: Crossing the line? : intelligence gathering, investigation and the media
Authors: Aisthorpe Gauci, Ruth (2020)
Keywords: Mass media -- Malta
Law enforcement -- Malta
Intelligence service -- Malta
Social ethics -- Malta
Responsibility -- Malta
Issue Date: 2020
Citation: Aisthorpe Gauci, R. (2020). Crossing the line?: intelligence gathering, investigation and the media (Master's dissertation).
Abstract: This study is aimed at being a contribution towards an improved understanding of the challenges and the limitations faced by media houses, intelligence agencies and law enforcement agencies when it comes to creating a dialogue between the relevant stakeholders. Despite a generic willingness to improve communications between the various parties, the divide between media houses, law enforcement and intelligence agencies was remarkably evident through the desk based research carried out. In addition, a number of national stakeholders still acknowledge the existence of an “us” and “them” situation. With the ever increasing technological improvements and resulting ease of access to information, the way the audience reacts to news reports has also changed, inadvertently creating a much faster paced environment in which media houses need to operate and keep up. In addition to the increased pace in which journalists are expected to operate, obligations need to be honored and, in line with the canons of good journalism, the media is expected to ensure that reports are factual, correct and a true reflection of the events being reported. This study addresses this aspect by using the theoretical frameworks of social responsibility and agenda setting. Other aspects are also addressed in this study such as the handling of leaked information, safeguarding oneself against a third party’s hidden agendas, legal parameters and obligations on the different parties, and ways in which collaboration or an improvement thereof may prove beneficial to the relevant stakeholders. Although various research studies have been carried out focusing on the media in conjunction with various aspects of the judicial system, this study takes a unique approach which focuses on the possible collaboration between the respective stakeholders including domestic intelligence agencies. This study uses a qualitative approach by means of interviews with participants from different agencies and media houses in Malta. By comparing the results from these interviews to the information obtained through desk based research, the study concludes with a series of findings and recommendations. These are intended to guide stakeholders towards a better understanding of one another’s limitations as well as proposals put forward by participants themselves on ways to improve the existing dialogue between the different stakeholders. It is pertinent to note that on completion of this study it was evident to the researcher that stakeholders in Malta would in fact welcome an improved dialogue amongst themselves. It was also evident that while strict legal frameworks are commonly cited as the reason for not engaging in such dialogue, the main hindrance to achieving this is more likely to be a sense of hesitation in embracing this new concept given that it does not conform with the traditional manner in which intelligence and law enforcement agencies have operated in the past. Other findings emanating from the study include the desire to have a standardised approach to journalism which includes the implementation of a common and universal code of ethics and well as changes to the current framework surrounding libel suits to curb third parties opening libel suits frivolously.
Description: M.A.CRIMINOLOGY
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacSoW - 2020
Dissertations - FacSoWCri - 2020

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