Interviewee compensation on true crime shows
January 29, 2011 8:34 PM   Subscribe

Do detectives or authority figures get paid for appearing on true crime shows like 'Forensic Files'?
posted by JJkiss to Media & Arts (5 answers total)
I was under the impression that pretty much anyone you see on a non-news TV program that isn't part of the audience is paid to be there, but that might take the form of just airfare and a small daily stipend.
posted by Rhomboid at 8:55 PM on January 29, 2011

Ask them: @forensicfiles
posted by cashman at 9:07 PM on January 29, 2011

Shows like these on deep cable, that don't have built-in sponsorship opportunities like a home-and-garden cable show, have extremely low budgets. A stipend or airfare may be possible, but it's highly unlikely. The value offering they're making to the professionals is "we'll put you on TV and give you a small measure of fame."
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:28 PM on January 29, 2011

My understanding is that many PDs have restrictive policies about accepting money or goods related to their police positions from third parties, as it may create bias in the officer. Instead, stuff like that is often viewed as a public relations opportunity, so the department may pay the cop for the interview time themselves.

Retired or former cops don't have to worry about that as much and may charge to give interviews, talks, and trainings (especially if they have a reputation as an expert).
posted by Menthol at 10:10 PM on January 29, 2011

I think everyone is right. If the police officer you see is just being interviewed by the show about a featured case, probably nothing. Maybe expense reimbursement.

But many shows like that WILL have a couple of consultants who help behind the scenes with things like procedure and re-enactments. They will be paid, and could remain part of their police force.
posted by gjc at 8:12 AM on January 30, 2011

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