Copaganda and Post-Floyd TVPD: Broadcast Television’s Response to Policing in 2020

Laurena Bernabo, “Copaganda and Post-Floyd TVPD: Broadcast Television’s Response to Policing in 2020.” Journal of Communication 72 (4):488-496.

Abstract: After George Floyd was murdered in 2020, U.S. police procedurals faced increased scrutiny with regards to the ideological implications of how police are represented. This genre has historically represented police as the “good guys,” even when they break the rules in their quest for justice, but cop shows face increased public pressure to include more diverse perspectives and stop normalizing brutality. This study examines ten U.S. police procedurals that aired in the 2020–2021 season to investigate how they navigated public calls for police reform. As a cultural forum, contemporary cop shows offered varied narrative strategies and ideological positions as they articulated the problems in modern policing, considered potential solutions for improving policing, and identified impediments to progress. This forum is ultimately quite limited in scope, reinforcing the status quo even as narratives lack resolution.

Laurena Bernabo