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promoting justice for crime victims and survivors

Media contributions and commentaries on crime victim, project work, strategic development and safeguarding policy work from all sectors and national governments.

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the media the media

We have witnessed the media use its power with dynamic factual and dignified coverage with qualitative and measured reporting. This is a credit to their profession; moreover, it reflects a genuine balance of reportage alongside the genuine best interests of the public to know about issues. These allow the public to see the shameful conduct and misuse of public money by members of parliament, the vicious death of an innocent member of the public caused by the police at the G20 demonstration and police failure to reveal their police ID numbers on the day. We have seen the maintaining public awareness during the Stephen Lawrence family’s struggle for justice, the murder of Lucie Blackman, the murder of Rhys Jones, and frequent contradictions from central government and its use of statistics that do not convey the real level of violent crime in Britain. This is the media showing power with responsibility for the wider public and to be applauded. This is in the public interest.

What we cannot applaud as a civilized society is when the media ultimately de-sensitizes us from the consequences of real-life violent crime, and when real-life horror becomes blurred with entertainment. When the media tries to capture every nuance of family-private despair as entertainment-style reporting, as the private tragedy is unfolding, this is exploitation. The violation and emotional manipulation conducted against the family of the late Miss Millie Dowler by the discredited News International is shameful. These examples of unacceptable journalism among some elements of the media do not reflect the unconditional dignity that any member of the media would expect for themselves if they were in the Stephen Lawrence - justice after 18 years vortex of tragedy. This degrades the media profession, and degrades the vulnerable people affected and how we are seen as a nation. It creates an unpleasant and voyeuristic perspective that sensationalizes and could also interfere with the process of law if charges are brought, or misused in court trial. Such conduct is not in the public interest. This is using power without sufficient responsibility. It gives strength and possibility necessity to the argument for Britain to adopt robust privacy laws as used in France. The industry has repeatedly shown it is unwilling and unable to regulate itself in the public interest.

A commendable, long list of excellent media coverage can be cited and now more is needed about how government treats its growing population of people affected by violent crime. What the people of Britain will benefit from, especially at this time in our country's social history is for the media to pursue government to be more directly accountable for the provision of crime victims’ services. This will keep the public informed and critical about the consequences of Britain's diminishing welfare health and social care services against a backdrop of increased violent crime.

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