The Truth Can Be Deceiving: How Criminal Justice Headlines Are Misinterpreted
The Truth Can Be Deceiving: How Criminal Justice Headlines Are Misinterpreted, NE. U. EXTRA LEGAL (Mar. 21, 2020).
7 Pages Posted: 22 May 2020 Last revised: 8 Jun 2020
Date Written: April 26, 2020
Just as the criminal justice system has a profound effect on those involved, media accounts of the criminal justice system can profoundly affect those reported on. It is important for those in the media to not only report accurately criminal justice matters, but also to be aware of how factually accurate reports can be misunderstood by lay audiences and the resulting consequences these misunderstandings can have.
The purpose of this study is to examine how various newspaper headlines regarding the criminal justice system are commonly interpreted. In doing so, journalists are provided valuable information to guide them in determining what to report on, and how to best craft headlines. Additionally, journalistic resources, such as the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics, are examined for their lack of guidance provided.
Keywords: Media law, Journalism law, Newspaper headlines, Criminal justice media coverage, Freedom of the press, misleading headlines
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