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NCJ Number: 119131 Find in a Library
Title: How Reporters Cover Corrections (From Current Australian Trends in Corrections, P 199-204, 1988, David Biles, ed. -- See NCJ-119105)
Author(s): P R Wilson
Date Published: 1988
Page Count: 6
Sponsoring Agency: Federation Press (Distributed by Gaunt)
Annandale, NSW 2038, Australia
Sale Source: Federation Press (Distributed by Gaunt)
71 Johnson Street
P.O. Box 45
Annandale, NSW 2038,
Type: Survey
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: Interviews with a cross-section of journalists and editors for Australian print and electronic media formed the basis of an analysis of the ways in which reporters cover corrections programs and issues.
Abstract: Findings showed that reporters are generally indifferent regarding prison matters. Reporters and editors believe that whatever happens behind high walls and barbed wire should remain hidden from public scrutiny. They justify their indifference by citing the perceived antagonism of the public toward prisoners and the fact that prison stories are unimportant. The interviews also revealed that journalists are poorly informed about prison issues and that some journalists blame their lack of access to the prison culture as one of the main reasons for their indifference. In addition, many journalists deliberately dramatize and sensationalize prison disturbances and prison escapes. Moreover, to some sections of the press, good news about prisons is not considered to be news. Although some efforts are underway to report on corrections in a more balanced manner, they may not last. A combination of factors, including the lack of effort by prison bureaucracies to inform the community and the use of prisons as political issues by politicians, partly underlie this problem. To solve this problem the Australian media need to foster more staff who aim for excellence in reporting on corrections.
Main Term(s): Media coverage
Index Term(s): Australia; Corrections in foreign countries; Press relations; Public Opinion of Corrections
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