AC-12, Media Scrutiny would have kept it going.
Please don’t get me wrong. I loved Line of Duty.
Throughout the latest Series 6, I have been wondering where the media were when all this Police corruption was being investigated? Were the scriptwriters making media gaffes, or worse still, showing a lack of knowledge of how the media operates?
For each “bent copper” who ended up behind bars or on a Witness Protection Programme, there must have been a criminal trial, in a Crown Court, or even The Old Bailey. Surely the media would have covered these trials. TV programmes like Channel 4 News, or Dispatches would have had a field day interviewing the Chief Constable Philip Osborne live on your TV screens?
Attention to detail
Line of Duty is absolutely wonderful on detail and accuracy. It makes sure that the right “Police jargon” is used. It makes sure that they get the settings, uniforms and procedural processes absolutely right. So where was the detail and accuracy in the scriptwriting around media interest in these criminal trials which surely must have taken place?
OK, I hear you say. You’re supposed to suspend your disbelief. It’s a drama, not a documentary. But these days the lines are being blurred. We are surrounded by “Reality TV” and are constantly being served up what some people are calling “Faction”. News is rapidly becoming “Infotainment” and Social Media has become “fake news” to many.
But there is one sad truth here. Court reporting throughout the UK is rapidly diminishing due to local newspapers closing and drastically slashing their newsroom costs by getting rid of journalists.
Just about the only thing the former editor of The Sun, Kelvin MacKenzie, ever said which I agreed with was that Court reporting was in grave danger and many important cases were going unreported.
Could that have included the various trials around OCG (Organised Criminal Groups) and Police Corruption in Line of Duty? Or was this a media gaffe on the part of the scriptwriters of this otherwise superb programme which has become “Appointment viewing” for all the right reasons?
We don’t know if the scriptwriters of Line of Duty had a media consultant on board, to advise on how the media would have handled the issues the programme highlighted. But Media Friendly offers a Media Awareness Seminar – for up to a dozen people via Zoom or Teams which gives a real insight into how the media operates.
Media Training for Superintendent Ted Hastings
We would also have liked to have offered media training to both Ted Hastings and Chief Constable Philip Osborne, to help them handle live media interviews on Zoom or Teams as well as the inevitable Press Conferences which precede this.
Posted by Andrew Carapiet, Media Director of Media Friendly, one of the UK’s leading Media Training and Communications consultancies