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NCJ Number: 236307 Find in a Library
Title: Challenges of Reporting on Corrections: An Exploratory Study Derived From Interviews With American Reporters Who Cover Jails and Prisons
Journal: Corrections Compendium  Volume:36  Issue:1  Dated:Spring 2011  Pages:7-13
Author(s): Jeffrey Ian Ross
Date Published: 2011
Page Count: 7
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: After reviewing the research literature on the news media’s portrayal of corrections and the challenges reporters face in covering this part of the criminal justice system, this article presents findings from interviews with five American print-media reporters who specialize in or have focused much of their careers on covering corrections.
Abstract: The literature review addresses how newspapers cover the corrections field, the content of such media coverage, and problems with the news media’s coverage of corrections. The interviews with the reporters focus on the length of time they have been covering corrections; why they cover corrections; the most significant obstacles they have had to overcome and how they dealt with them; their descriptions of the kind of reporting they do on corrections; and whether corrections has continued to hold their interest as reporters. The article concludes that the news media rarely report on corrections; and when they do, it is rarely about something positive. Consequently, the public is typically uninterested in the subject. This means that the media do not believe there is a reader market for such news. This means that the corrections “beat” requires a serious, dedicated, and experienced reporter, as well as a supportive editor and news organization in order to maintain an exclusive interest/specialization in the corrections field that involves the regular production of accurate stories on corrections. Future studies in this area should include interviews with newspaper editors, publishers, and owners in order to determine why news publications seldom cover corrections topics. 11 notes, 35 references, and appended reporter interview questions
Main Term(s): Corrections policies
Index Term(s): Information dissemination; Media coverage; Media support
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