Section 2: Building Media Relations
Types of News Media
Organization Communication
Building Blocks
Guidelines for Media Interviews
Press Releases
Editors' Advisories
Public Service Announcements
Press Conferences
Editorial Board
Internet Strategies
Talk Shows
Developing A Media Plan

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 Build Positive Relations With the News Media

14. Types of News Media

a. Print Media
i. Daily Newspapers
ii. Weekly Newspapers
i. Monthly Newspapers
ii. Magazines
b. Broadcast Media
i. Television
ii. Radio
i. Wire Services
ii. Web-based Media

Types of News Media

The term “news media” spans a variety of entities that cover international, national, state and local news, and feature stories. By understanding the different types of media and the roles of their respective personnel, victim advocates can develop an effective media strategy and know how to contact the right person.

The news media generally fall into three general categories:

  1. Print media.
  2. Broadcast media.
  3. Web-based media.

Most print and broadcast media today have Web sites that augment their regular news and programming, and often feature a section devoted to the “community”—which is a good source to promote information about victims’ rights and services.

In addition, there are media and outreach venues that are specific to crime, victimization, justice, and public safety issues. These are sponsored by national and local organizations in both electronic-, Web-, and paper-based formats.

a. Print Media

Front page of a fitional newspaper called "The Daily News."i. Daily Newspapers

In 2003, there were 787 daily newspapers and 680 evening newspapers in the United States.20 20. 2004 Facts About Newspapers: A Statistical Summary of the Newspaper Industry, “Number of U.S. Daily Newspapers,” Newspaper Association of America,, accessed March 30, 2007.
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In large urban jurisdictions, many daily newspapers also publish a condensed daily version of their print publication that tends to focus more on local news and is free to the public.

Newspapers offer a variety of opportunities for victim assistance organizations to make or contribute to the news, publicize their activities, and seek community support:

Front page of the editorial section of a newspaper titled "Perspective".

Key newspaper personnel who are responsible for news, editorials, and community relations include—

Man holding microphone in front of him as if asking for a answer. (Staged with profesisonal model).

ii. Weekly Newspapers

In 2003, there were 6,704 weekly newspapers in the United States.21 21. Ibid. Weekly newspapers (also called “weeklies”) generally cover smaller geographical areas than daily newspapers, or are published as “alternatives” to daily publications. Weeklies tend to focus more on local issues and events that are relevant to the geographic communities they serve. Like daily newspapers, weeklies include news, editorials, and feature stories, and often offer community calendars with brief information about local events and activities. The opportunities for victim and public awareness described above in “Daily Newspapers” also apply to weeklies, and it’s sometimes easier to get published in weekly newspapers because of their community focus.

iii. Monthly Newspapers

This type of publication can be found primarily in large urban areas. Monthly newspapers are usually free, and often serve a specific geographical area with news, features, and editorials that are targeted to that community. They are a great source for publicizing activities or events within a specific community, as their readers live within and often take personal interest in the neighborhood in which they are published.

A collection of magazines rolled up and standing on their ends.

iv. Magazines

There are literally hundreds of magazines published in the United States that address news and general and special interest topics. Magazines are published nationally, regionally, and even locally.


b. Broadcast Media


i. Television

Photo of an old fashion portable tv.

There are 1,686 broadcast television stations and 308 cable television stations in the United States.22 22. Ibid. Similar to newspapers, television offers a wide range of public and victim awareness opportunities:

All television stations are required by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to include public service announcements in their advertising.

Key television station personnel who are responsible for news and community relations include—

"On Air" sign from a TV studio. Local cable television stations are great venues for promoting crime victim-related issues. Some stations sponsor programs devoted to local issues and seek experts within a community for their news and feature programs.


An old fashion wooden tabletop radio.   ii. Radio

There are 13,261 radio stations in the United States, including 4,811 commercial AM stations, 6,147 commercial FM stations, and 2,303 educational stations.23 23. U.S. Federal Trade Commission. (2002). Washington, DC: Federal Trade Commission. The format of radio stations varies: their primary focus can be news, talk, music, or a combination. Some stations’ formats address targeted audiences (such as farm reports in rural communities or listeners in urban communities).

Outreach through radio stations is similar to that described above for newspapers and television stations. In addition—

Fictional "On-Air" female personality (Staged with a Profesisonal Model).


Key radio station personnel who are responsible for news and community relations include—


iii. Wire Services

Wire services are news organizations that supply news reports, features, and human interest stories to both print and broadcast news media. The major wire services host Web sites with contact information for submitting press releases or ideas for stories, and some have local bureaus in major cities that focus more on state and local news.

iv. Web-based Media

Computer cursor pointing to an internet address.  All television and radio stations host Web sites that support their mission and programming. Most daily newspapers also publish versions of their publication on the Web. In both cases, Web sites not only document the original news and programming, but also augment it through opportunities for readers, viewers, and listeners to interact with the experts and/or people who are featured.

Increasingly, there are media whose only outlet is Web-based. They may address news, politics, and public policy and/or targeted issues.

The use of Web-based blogs is also increasing. A blog (abbreviation for “Weblog”) is a journal or diary that is posted online for viewing by the public. A blog contains an ongoing series of entries that are written from the most recent to the oldest. Blogs are opinion-oriented and provide authors with the opportunity to comment on themselves and their own experiences, current social or political issues, and/or respond to current events in the news.


Blogs are often attached to Web sites and specific issues, but can be independent online journals created by anybody for any purpose. Generally, there is no cost associated with sponsoring a blog and there are many Web sites (such as that host blogs for free.


20. 2004 Facts About Newspapers: A Statistical Summary of the Newspaper Industry, “Number of U.S. Daily Newspapers,” Newspaper Association of America,, accessed March 30, 2007.

21. Ibid.

22. Ibid.

23. U.S. Federal Trade Commission. (2002). Washington, DC: Federal Trade Commission.

24. Talker’s Magazine Online. “The Talk Radio Research Project; American Radio News Audience Survey,” Talker’s Magazine Online,, accessed March 30, 2007.

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