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NCJ Number: 163009 Find in a Library
Title: Westray Mine Explosion: Covering a Disaster and a Failed Inquiry (From Constructing Danger: The Mis/Representation of Crime in the News, P 197-221, 1995, Douglas Beall, ed. - See NCJ-162999)
Author(s): D Woolway
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 25
Sponsoring Agency: Fernwood Publishing
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3K 5S3, Canada
Sale Source: Fernwood Publishing
Box 9409, Station A
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3K 5S3,
Canada
Type: Issue Overview
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: This chapter examines the idea that the media are not always as critical as they should be and often unwittingly take the line lawyers and politicians want them to take.
Abstract: Pack journalism, a process whereby the media take a uniform convergent line on a story from which they seldom deviate, is examined as a possible factor in a case of wrongful conviction. Inquiry into a mine explosion, discussed as an example of pack journalism, raises critical issues such as how to get a story and get it right, how to cover legal issues while also reporting a human tragedy. Also examined is the adequacy of media coverage of the explosion, the subsequent criminal investigation, the inquiry, the consequences of the line the media took on the tragedy, and the question of whether the media coverage itself became part of the story of the disaster. In coverage of events such as the mine explosion; the grounding of the Exxon Valdez off the coast of Alaska, which polluted more than 2,000 kilometers of coastline; or the release of deadly gas from the Union Carbide factory in Bhopal, India, which killed thousands, it is important to see how the textual construction of the event in the news overlays the event and conditions our understanding. Figure, notes
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Canada; Courts; Foreign criminal justice systems; Media coverage; Police; Press relations; Press releases; Public information; Wrongful conviction
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