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Dec 12, 2018

The media – local and national, print and TV – love puff pieces designed to make the police look good and generally improve their overall brand with the public. More often than not, these human interest stories are typically fed to local news by the police themselves. This type of pseudo-journalism is most transparent in its most overly saccharin iteration, something we like to call clickbait copaganda.

Stories involving noble patrolmen rescuing cats from car engines, helping little Jimmy find his stolen bike, raising money for charity, coaching Little League, white cops hugging black kids or handing out Christmas presents all do well on social media and help burnish the police’s image in the age of Black Lives Matter. 

On this week's episode, we examine the increasingly viral nature of pro-police agitprop, dissect how organic these stories actually are, and identify the five main types of clickbait copaganda.

Our guest is journalist Ashoka Jegroo.