Using crime victims' names in the news: journalists' legal rights and ethical justifications
In the late 1980s and 1990s, individuals in the intellectual and academic circles of the journalistic community argued over whether or not journalists should publish the names of crime victims, particularly rape victims, in news stories. This dissertation examines journalists' practices in naming crime victims, their legal right to name victims, and their ethical justifications for naming victims. It finds that journalists actually name few crime victims in the news, although the First Amendment gives them nearly an absolute right to do so. Journalists' ethical justifications for naming crime victims vary greatly. Some journalists give a great deal of thought to their actions; some give little. Generally, journalists demonstrate good intentions but a lack of understanding of the potential consequences of their actions.
- Communications