Bonnie Bucqueroux, a specialist on crime victims and the media and longtime Michigan State University journalism professor, died last week at 71, the Lansing State Journal reports. Despite formally retiring from the university in 2009 after working there for more than two decades, she continued to teach classes, including several this fall. Bucqueroux joined Michigan State in 1987 as a specialist in the criminal justice department. She moved over to the journalism school in 1995, where she did pioneering work with the Victims in the Media Program.
In 2009, she co-authored with crime victim advocate Anne Seymour a guide for journalists on covering crime victims. Among their many suggestions: “Don't ask ‘How do you feel?’ Broadcast reporters in particular want victims to speak about their emotions with viewers. However, experience confirms that asking the obvious question bluntly is unlikely to elicit the desired answer. Recast the question in ways that express greater understanding of what the victim is going through.” Seymour said, “Bonnie was a pioneer in examining how the news media view and cover victims of crime, and challenged journalists like herself to be sensitive and ethical.”