Mass shootings, the special counsel’s Russia investigation, immigration, and sexual assault charges against powerful men in the worlds of entertainment, media and business dominated the news media coverage of criminal justice in 2018. But the most significant development, as it was in 2017, was the continued drop in coverage of local justice issues.
After a year of concentration on national politics, much coverage of crime and justice in 2017 in the U.S. news media shifted to a discussion of the presidential election’s aftermath and of a topic given new prominence by Donald Trump’s presidency: immigration.
Urban violence, police shootings, the opioid epidemic, and a tense political campaign dominated criminal justice coverage during 2016. How did the coverage measure up? In our annual press review, Washington Bureau chief Ted Gest assesses the year in coverage with a panel of media experts and observers.
It didn’t take long for the names “Ferguson,” “Michael Brown,” and “Darren Wilson” to be entwined in the biggest criminal justice news story of 2014. The killing of the unarmed, 18-year-old Brown by Wilson in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson produced national reverberations for policing, race and other aspects of the criminal justice in the United States that would last well beyond 2014. Full report available here:
Fifteen years after reported crime in the United States reached a modern day peak, many news reporters, along with their sources, are groping to understand the decline. With a few notable exceptions, media coverage of the trends in 2009 primarily was a story of crime dropping in many big cities.