Media impacts on victims of crime

Author(s) Colmar Brunton
Title Media impacts on victims of crime
Source Report for NSW Department of Attorney General & Justice, July  2013, pp 1-105
Date 2013
Document type Research report
Coverage NSW Australia
URL Media impacts on victims of crime

This report reviews the effects of media reporting on victims of crime through interviews with stakeholders such as the Australian Press Council, interviews with victim support groups and 45 face-to-face interviews with victims of crime. One theme emerging from the research was the way media and news reporters gather information, including initial contact with the victim and families and a second theme was concerning the content of news reporting, including what gets selected and what is ignored by editors. The impacts of media reporting on victims was explored, including positive impacts such as empowerment and the idea that reading about other people's experiences can inspire other victims to report their crimes. Negative impacts included traumatisation and secondary victimisation. A number of recommendations are made to improve the experience of victims, including the need to engage with media to discuss victims' issues, improving information available for victims about dealing with the media, ongoing training of police and support persons, and recognition for positive and factual examples of media reporting.

Keywords Media; newspaper reporting; traumatisation; ethics; crime stories
Topic Media