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Master List of
New Directions Recommendations
Directions from the Field:
Rights and Services for the 21st Century
for the News Media Community
The recommendations below, which
appear in the May 1998 New Directions Report, have been reformatted
for replication and distribution.
|The news media play a significant role in public safety by providing important information about the nature and the extent of crime occurring in communities, and efforts to prevent crime and assist victims. Yet the news media also can have a negative impact on individual lives when victims are thrust, often unwillingly, into the limelight solely because of the crimes committed against them. Inconsistent reporting and insensitivity to a victim's privacy compound the drama of crime and often re-victimize the victim. To increase the news media's awareness of victims' needs for sensitive treatment and respect of privacy, the following recommendations are set forth by the field:
- The news media should adopt
codes of ethics or guiding principles that clearly delineate policies
sensitive to and respectful of crime victims. These guidelines should
include policies that discourage the identification of victims of sexual
assault and other vulnerable victims, including children, without the
- News organizations, victims,
and victim service providers should sponsor frequent educational forums
for journalists on sensitive media coverage of crime and victimization.
- University departments of journalism
should incorporate curricula that teach students about sensitivity to
victims in the news media's coverage of crime.
- Victim service providers should
receive education about media relations and how to be a valuable resource
for the press. Training and technical assistance for service providers
should be made available from professionals in the journalism community.
- The victim service and mental
health professions, in conjunction with media representatives, should
develop debriefing protocols to help journalists cope with the trauma
and stress of covering crime and victimization.
- State public policy leaders
and media representatives should explore the development of legislation
that would appropriately limit general public access to confidential
information about sensitive victims.
|New Directions from the
Victims' Rights and Services for the 21st Century
|The information on this page is archived and provided for reference purposes only.