Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1633504
 
 

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A Portrait of Local News Reporting of Civil Litigation


Herbert M. Kritzer


University of Minnesota Law School

Robert E. Drechsel


University of Wisconsin - Madison - School of Journalism & Mass Communication

July 1, 2010

Minnesota Legal Studies Research Paper No. 10-34
5th Annual Conference on Empirical Legal Studies Paper

Abstract:     
What is the nature of the coverage of civil litigation by local newspapers and local television? That is the question considered in this paper. Drawing upon news clips from 2004 (11 media markets around the U.S.), 2006 (9 media markets in the Midwest), and 2007 (9 media markets in the Midwest), we present a portrait of litigation as locally reported. We find (a) torts make up a minority of reports, (b) very few verdicts are reported, and (c) dollar figures are mentioned in a modest proportion of cases but when mentioned tend to be large. We also find significant differences in the reporting practices of local television and local newspapers, particularly with regard to the types of cases discussed (more torts on television and more cases against government in the newspapers). We conclude with some speculations about the implications of our analysis for debates over civil justice “reform.”

Number of Pages in PDF File: 27

Keywords: litigation, media, civil justice reform, tort reform

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Date posted: July 3, 2010 ; Last revised: July 14, 2010

Suggested Citation

Kritzer, Herbert M. and Drechsel, Robert E., A Portrait of Local News Reporting of Civil Litigation (July 1, 2010). Minnesota Legal Studies Research Paper No. 10-34; 5th Annual Conference on Empirical Legal Studies Paper. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1633504

Contact Information

Herbert M. Kritzer (Contact Author)
University of Minnesota Law School ( email )
229 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States
Robert E. Drechsel
University of Wisconsin - Madison - School of Journalism & Mass Communication ( email )
Madison, WI
United States
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