Faculty of Education and Arts
School of Communications and Arts / Centre for Research in Entertainment, Arts, Technology, Education and Communications
In early 2010, the Edith Cowan University (ECU) journalism programme and the Western Australia Police Academy Detective Training School launched a novel collaboration that involved running joint training days, in which a ‘media pack’ of journalism students interview trainee detectives about mock crimes they have been tasked with investigating. The training improved the trainee journalists’ and detectives’ understanding about the constraints the other parties face. It also made them more confident about their ability to elicit and convey accurate information, and more willing to attempt to do so than before the training. This article presents a description of the training days and the rationale behind them from detective and journalism educator perspectives, including the minimal costs involved in time and resources. It also presents the results of an evaluation, involving before-and-after questionnaires completed by participants. The article also reviews the scant literature about the dynamics of the relationship between journalists and detectives and suggests that training related to the dynamic is important for journalism students given that police public relations departments and polices are blossoming in Australia and throughout the Asia-Pacific region.