Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Save to My Library
Look up keyword
Like this
3Activity
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
11-02-28 Criminal Justice Journalists: Covering Crime and Justice

11-02-28 Criminal Justice Journalists: Covering Crime and Justice

Ratings: (0)|Views: 867|Likes:

More info:

Categories:Business/Law, Finance
Published by: Human Rights Alert, NGO on Feb 28, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

03/01/2011

pdf

text

original

 
1
Covering Crime and Justice 
CoveringCrimeandJustice
 
 
Written and edited by Criminal Justice Journalists crimjj.wordpress.com  
 
 
2
Covering Crime and Justice 
Contents
Chapter 1 The Crime Beat ............................................................................................................................. 3Chapter 2 Juvenile Justice ............................................................................................................................. 6Chapter 3 Reporting on Drug Law Enforcement and Controlled Substances ............................................... 8Chapter 4 Racial and Ethnic Issues .............................................................................................................. 10Chapter 5 Covering Crime and Its Victims .................................................................................................. 13Chapter 6 Journalism Ethics ........................................................................................................................ 15Chapter 7 Covering the Courts .................................................................................................................... 17Chapter 8 Covering Criminal Courts............................................................................................................ 19Chapter 9 Covering Civil Courts .................................................................................................................. 21Chapter 10 How Prosecutors Work ............................................................................................................ 23Chapter 11 Guns and Gun Control .............................................................................................................. 25Chapter 12 Covering Domestic Violence .................................................................................................... 27Chapter 13 Covering Prisons and Jails ........................................................................................................ 30Chapter 14 Covering Sentencing ................................................................................................................. 32Chapter 15 Covering Community Corrections: Probation, Parole and Beyond .......................................... 34  
 
 
3
Covering Crime and Justice 
Chapter 1The Crime Beat 
Introduction
 If journalism is about telling stories, then the crime beat should be the best in the business because itoffers such great stories to tell. The
dramatis personae 
for even routine crime tales likely will include aprotagonist and antagonist, if not outright heroes and scoundrels.As Edna Buchanan, the legendary
Miami Herald 
crime reporter, put it, the crime beat "has it all: greed,sex, violence, comedy and tragedy."The crime beat is a place where a journalist can "make his bones," as the mob adage goes. (My genderreference is convenient but dated. Buchanan noted that a female cop reporter was rare when she startedin 1971. The gender split on the beat today seems roughly even.)Buchanan and other top crime reporters share a number of traits, including exceptional initiative anddetermination, an eye for accuracy and detail, a knack for sourcing, and the ability to tell a story.Many editors and producers still use the crime beat as a sink-or-swim test. Those who display fortitudeand resilience under the beat's special pressures are deemed capable of "promotion" to other beats.Those who don't pass the Johnny Deadline test are destined for features.Unfortunately, too many news operations use sink-or-swim as an excuse for failing to provide training andsupport when an inexperienced reporter is assigned to crime.Consider the experience of Ilene Prusher, hired in the mid-1990s to cover crime in the suburbs forthe
Philadelphia Inquirer 
."I had no training whatsoever," said Prusher, now a foreign correspondent for the
Christian Science Monitor 
. "They just told me that I was the police reporter. The former police reporter was gone, so no onecould introduce me to the key sources or give advice. My boss gave me a list of phone numbers for thepolice departments and told me to call them."Although there is a solid cadre of career crime reporters across the country, the beat suffers from highturnover. And while good crime reporters are highly valued in a newsroom, the cop beat still has a stigma.When I started in the business, in the late 1970s, a seasoned colleague suggested I spend no more than18 months on the crime beat lest I be tarred as a cop-shop lifer. Peter Hermann, a veteran police reporterat the Baltimore
Sun 
, recalled that a colleague once told him he was too good a journalist to waste histalents on crime reporting. (Not long after he made the comment, Hermann was transferred directly fromthe police beat to Middle East correspondent for the
Sun 
.)Most reporters have no criminal justice background when assigned to cover crime. Whether a reporterplans a year or a lifetime on the beat, news organizations should help the journalist get off on the rightfoot by allowing adequate time and resources for training.This chapter of the CJJ Guide to Reporting offers information and tips about crime beat training, sourcerelationship, records and access, story ideas, enterprise and preparedness, as well as sidebars aboutsuch things as the history of police reporting and important subjects like the Miranda warning, "perpwalks," crime waves and the FBI's National Crime Information Center.

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->