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Prior to the availability of the handbook, 21.7 percent of domestic violence homicide stories used a domestic violence advocate as a lead source; after the handbook became available domestic violence advocates were used as a lead source in 43.2 percent of stories.69 Quotations in stories from professionals who can explain domestic violence and describe the availability of resources more than doubled.70 The use of police sources for information went up by more than 35 percent,71 while reliance on well-meaning, but uninformed, community residents as a news source, dropped by more than 75 percent.72

C ONCLUSION

D

omestic violence is a serious social problem that can be properly addressed by policymakers only if the public has accurate information about the problem. With the media’s ability to educate the public about the issue, it is important that media coverage of domestic violence accurately describes the problem and places individual cases into FRQWH[W6HYHUDOVWXGLHVRIPHGLDFRYHUDJHKDYHLGHQWL¿HGDUHDVLQZKLFKUHSRUWLQJFDQ be improved, and there is evidence that a media guide which recommends better reporting practices can successfully encourage more informative coverage of domestic violence. Suggested standards for development of such a guide, as well as a generic media guide for coverage of domestic violence designed for adaptation by interested persons or organizations for use in any community, are provided in the appendixes.

32164-rcm_2-2 Sheet No. 51 Side B 07/03/2012 13:52:34

69. 70. 71. 72.

,G at 220 (Table 1). ,G at 219. ,G ,G

246

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Profile for The National Judicial College

Reynolds Courts & Media Law Journal, Spring 2012  

This issue of the Journal covers Facebook service, Judgespeak and more.

Reynolds Courts & Media Law Journal, Spring 2012  

This issue of the Journal covers Facebook service, Judgespeak and more.

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