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The News Media's Coverage of Crime and Victimization

The news media wield a "double-edged sword" in their coverage of crime and victimization relevant to the "public's right to know" versus "the victim's right to privacy." Victim service providers play crucial roles in protecting victims' privacy rights, and helping victims cope with media coverage immediately following a crime, during the trial, and following verdicts. Advocates must possess knowledge of who the media are, how they operate, and victims' needs pertinent to dealing with the media.

Learning objectives include:

  • The impact of news reporting on crime.
  • The influence of the news media on criminal justice, juvenile justice, and victim services policies and practices.
  • Advocating for victims in high-profile cases.
  • First Amendment issues and precedents relevant to victim privacy.
  • Major concerns of victims who choose to deal with the media.
  • The role and responsibilities of the victim advocate in helping victims deal with the news media.
  • Significant issues for the media and the courts.
  • The media perspective of crime and victimization.