An Garda Síochána: Breaking News & Social Media

An Garda Síochána: Breaking News & Social Media

Find out why Irish police are choosing new media over traditional media.

The extract below is from Chapter 9 of my book.

One key theme emerging from my research was the speed of communications arising from social media technologies. There was universal agreement that An Garda Síochána’s ability to push out information in a timely and accurate manner using social networking sites has helped them greatly in their work. It also shows a shift away from and a lesser reliance on traditional media sources.

JSB Book-8

What they said

Interviewee D relates the success of social media to the speed of information dissemination and their ability to self-publish information and not requiring traditional media.

It’s particularly effective as it’s instantaneous and whether that’s an appeal, information on a road closure, somebody missing, information on traffic diversions…I believe it’s hugely beneficial to our organization and to the public who follow either of the [Garda Síochána social media] accounts.

There is now a lesser reliance on traditional media to communicate information to the public. An Garda Síochána have the ability to reach tens of thousands of people in one Tweet or in one Facebook post and have become publishers of their own content. In fact the policy in An Garda Síochána is to use social media in the first instance to break news of major public importance. Interviewee C says:

It is the quickest form of communications where it has the capabilities to pass on information to thousands of people at the touch of a button.

 Gardaí have also found social media to be most advantageous in helping to solve crime. In the excerpt below Interviewee C recounts a case where members of the public provided information to the local station as a result of an appeal on Facebook.

I know there have been cases where people have called into the station as a result of the Facebook Page with specific information.

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