Section I: Victim Media Advocacy
Crime Victims and Public Awareness
Impact on Your Organization
Educating the Media
Impact of Coverage Can Affect Victims
Types of News Stories
Major Concerns of Coverage
Impact On Victims of Specific Crimes
Cultural Competency
Victim Privacy v. Media
The Role of Victim Service Providers
Victim Referrals to the Media
Tips for Crime Victims and Survivors

Link to A Guide for Journalists Who Report on Crime and Crime Victims
Link to Crime Victim Outreach Tip Sheets
Victim Media Advocacy:
How to Facilitate Sensitive and Respectful Treatment of Crime Victims

The Role of Victim Service Providers

a. Case Coordination
b. The Victim's Choice

The Role of Victim Service Providers

Victim service providers have two important roles when dealing with the media on behalf of crime victims as—

These two roles are not mutually exclusive and often overlap. Becoming a reliable, trusted source to the media involves both victim/media facilitation and strong media relations to promote victims’ rights and services. Individual victims put a real face to crime and statistics. By publicly sharing their experiences as victims, they fulfill the media’s need for relevant news and help people better understand the devastating impact of crime on victims and communities.

This section of the guide addresses the role of advocate as facilitator. Section 2 addresses “How to Build Positive Relations With the News Media.”

a. Case Coordination

There are often many professionals associated with a criminal case, including law enforcement officials, prosecutors, court personnel, community and institutional corrections officials, attorneys general, and public information officers or victim/witness staff within each agency. Case coordination can help ensure that the integrity of a case is not negatively affected by dealings with the media.

Woman talking on a phone. Case coordination can also build consensus regarding if and how justice professionals and victims deal with the media. The goal is not to prevent media coverage but rather to facilitate it in a way that protects the integrity of the case and any privacy wishes of the victim while meeting the media’s need for information.

Working closely with allied professionals involved in a case, victim service providers can—



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Victim service providers can also ensure that victims are involved in efforts related to case coordination and that any relevant information is provided to them.

b. The Victim’s Choice

"Yes", "No", "Maybe" checklist.It is always the victim’s choice whether or not to conduct an interview. There may be times when it is not advisable to give interviews, such as during a trial, or when it is against court rules to give interviews, such as when a judge issues a “gag order” during a trial.

It is also important to recognize that the trauma of victimization—especially in the hours, days, and weeks following a crime—may preclude a victim from conducting effective interviews. Since victims at this point may be unaware of the intricacies of the news media and may not understand the potential implications of agreeing to interviews, the role of the victim advocate is critical in helping victims examine their choices related to talking to the media, as well as the consequences of such choices. Advocates can help victims fully explore any concerns related to—

Safety First traffic sign.

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