Breaking News Stories
Covering Specific Victim Populations
Other Considerations
Special Challenges in Reporting
Special Challenges in Reporting
High Impact Stories
Working With Service Providers
Creating Ethics Policy
Victims Right to Privacy
Self Care for Journalists
Resources and Promising Practices
Glossary and Endnotes

Link to A News Media Guide for Victim Service Providers
Link to Crime Victim Outreach Tip Sheets

2. Introduction

Page Index
a. Impact and Influence of News Media Reporting
i. Crime victims
ii. Criminal and juvenile justice systems
iii. The American public and public policy
b. Issues, tips, techniques, guidelines, concerns, and best practices

The Impact and Influence of News Media
Reporting on Crime and Victimization

Old camera and hat (Professionally Staged Photo)

News media—newspapers, television, magazines, and online news Web sites—have an enormous impact on how Americans view crime and victimization in the United States. It is important for journalists to understand the unique role the media play and the impact they have on:

Issues, Tips, Techniques, Guidelines, Concerns, and Best Practices

U. S. Capitol buildingThe U.S. Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime has produced this guide to help journalists fulfill their unique role in helping people understand and work to improve the ways in which the United States deals with crime and victimization. This guide is also designed to provide the most current, complete, and specific information and advice on reporting on victims and witnesses, as well as their families and friends. In addition, it is intended to explain the role of victim advocates and service providers and explore ways that journalists can work with them effectively to serve the needs of victims in the context of promoting public safety.

Victims are clearly affected by the way that the media report on crime and victimization. Individual victims who become the subject of crime reporting that includes coverage of victims of crime tend to fall into three broad categories, each with its own dynamic and concerns:

Typewriter with words "Breaking News" typed on the page. Professionally staged photo with professional models depicting cameraman with interviewee.

Each “act” of crime coverage poses a different set of challenges for victims, their families and friends, and the victim advocates and service providers who work with them—and for the reporters, photographers, videographers, and editors who cover them. The following offers information, insights, and tips that reporters need to deal with the opportunities and constraints for each of the three acts of crime coverage.

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