Source: (2007) Crime, Media, Culture. 3(3):285-304.

This article summarizes the findings from a two-year research project, funded by the Nuffield Foundation, which explored the impact of a criminologist presenting factual information on crime and criminal justice through a weekly column in a local newspaper. The research included a natural quasi-experiment, the impact of which was assessed through a large-scale survey and in-depth interviews with members of the public. The key finding from the research was that readership of the column was low (although not as low as survey responses initially indicated), and that the column had no measurable impact on readers. The findings suggest that interest in, take-up, and retention of factual information on crime and criminal justice is not as high as previous empirical research has suggested.