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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: 16 May 2022

Threats, Harms, and Benefits

Threats, Harms, and Benefits

At a Crossroads or in a Crossfire?

(p.167) 9 Threats, Harms, and Benefits
Murder in our Midst

Crime Coverage

Oxford University Press

Democratic institutions in Portugal, Spain, and Italy are younger than those in the Protector and Watchdog countries, thus journalism ethics and professionalism are less established. Journalists’ eagerness to tell crime stories even when official information is unavailable indicates a leaning toward Watchdog values: seeing their primary professional duty as informing the public and keeping a wary eye on the criminal justice. However, reporters’ faith in protecting accused persons’ presumption of innocence by shielding their identities signals a sympathy with Protector countries’ codes. Their “ambivalence” may allow journalists to embrace aspects of both Watchdog and Protector systems and create something new. However, news practices are still deeply rooted in a partisan past. Autonomy is receding further as layoffs and newsroom closings make employment more precarious. In this environment, the Internet is a mixed blessing. It opens up new opportunities for expression even as it undermines the news media’s traditional economic foundation.

Keywords:   internet, crossroads, autonomy, independence, partisan, economics

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