The first, entitled A Media Guide for Victim Service Providers (2009), is intended to help victim service providers advise victims in their dealings with the media. The Guide also includes chapters written to help victim organizations/agencies seeking to build positive working relationships with the media while enhancing the public visibility of their victim organization or agency. It is intended to serve the entire spectrum of the victim services field from professionals who are brand new to their role as “victim media advisor” to those with decades of experience. This Guide contains field-tested techniques and practical state-of-the-art strategies that will help victims steer around the common pitfalls while minimizing typical trauma associated with crime coverage in modern media.
Topics addressed include: “Ethics for victim media advisors/advocates”; “How to advise victims regarding the ‘who,’ ‘what,’ ‘where,’ ‘when,’ and ‘how’ of media interviews, press conferences and talk shows”; “How to create a public education media plan for your organization”; and “How to establish a working relationship with members of the media that will benefit both your victim advisees and your organization/agency.”
The second groundbreaking publication, entitled A Guide for Journalists Who Report on Crime and Crime Victims (2009), is designed to advise and assist journalists who seek to cover crime and victimization in a way that is sensitive to crime victims, yet still allows them to fulfill their role and responsibilities to the public as reporters. This first-of-its-kind Guide is not only intended to encourage more victim sensitive coverage, but it also explains the important role of victim advocates and service providers in regards to members of the media and explores ways that journalists can work with them more effectively to the benefit of both.
The Guide provides journalists with practical tips, techniques and advice from practicing journalists, educators and media advisors, all with the purpose of helping journalists “get the story” without re-victimizing victims. Topics include: “What to say and what not to say to victims in crisis”; “How to approach surviving family members of murder victims”; “The law and ethics regarding reporting and victim privacy”; and “How to enhance your chances of getting an interview (including the victim’s inside story) using simple strategies, policies and practices that respect the needs and concerns of crime victims.”
The Journalists Guide can also be used by victim service providers as an effective educational tool for the media since it can be downloaded, printed and distributed directly to members of the media or incorporated as part of an ongoing media education program.
Both Guides are written in easily accessible style and format laced with numerous internal links and integrated site search engines that allow users to quickly and easily find the topics or issue areas you need, when you need them. Both publications feature a generous number of checklists, samples, and worksheets that you can easily download and print for immediate use. Each also includes extensive links to related resources on the Internet to expand and enhance your learning experience. Both Guides can be downloaded and printed out in their entirety for use as a shelf reference or distributed to colleagues or directly members of the media. Again, all free of charge.
The Guides were co-authored by Anne Seymour and Bonnie Bucqueroux, who together have more than three decades of experience in the victims field during which time they have advised hundreds of victims on media matter and have educated thousands of service providers and members of the media regarding the issue. Both Guides are being published by Justice Solutions (a national non-profit organization) as part of the of the “Victims and the Media Series” and were originally created under a cooperative agreement awarded by the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice (grant number: 2002-VF-GX-K013).
For more information about the Guides or for information about Justice Solutions please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Look for the link to next publication in the “Victims and the Media series, entitled “Crime Victim Outreach Tips Sheets,” and the “Crime Victim’s Handbooks,” scheduled for publication in the very near future.