Download this Paper Open PDF in Browser

Local News of Civil Litigation: All the Litigation News That's Fit to Print or Broadcast

Judicature, Vol. 96, No. 1, pp. 16-22

Minnesota Legal Studies Research Paper No. 12-46

8 Pages Posted: 18 Sep 2012  

Herbert M. Kritzer

University of Minnesota Law School

Robert E. Drechsel

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

Date Written: May 1, 2012

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.”

Keywords: News media, courts, civil litigation

Suggested Citation

Kritzer, Herbert M. and Drechsel, Robert E., Local News of Civil Litigation: All the Litigation News That's Fit to Print or Broadcast (May 1, 2012). Judicature, Vol. 96, No. 1, pp. 16-22; Minnesota Legal Studies Research Paper No. 12-46. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2147498

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

Paper statistics

Downloads
62
Rank
298,492
Abstract Views
555