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Murder in our MidstComparing Crime Coverage Ethics in an Age of Globalized News$
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Romayne Smith Fullerton and Maggie Jones Patterson

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780190863531

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190863531.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use.date: 26 January 2022

What the Protectors Protect

What the Protectors Protect

(p.23) 2 What the Protectors Protect
Murder in our Midst

Crime Coverage

Oxford University Press

Although a suspect’s name and other identifying details are part of the public record or supplied to reporters by police, news media in the Netherlands, Sweden, and Germany routinely protect suspects and even convicted criminals from public exposure. We group these countries in a Protector model. Journalists said they weigh their obligation to inform the public against (1) protecting the defendants’ families—especially if they have children; (2) respecting the right to the presumption of innocence; and (3) avoiding dissemination of information that could damage the defendant’s reputation and/or chance for reintegration. Protector countries share a faith that many criminals can successfully reintegrate into society. Journalists are most likely to protect the private person accused of a crime in the private sector and least likely to protect a public figure or official accused of a public crime.

Keywords:   protect, rehabilitation, resocialization, public, private, family, criminal

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