ORLANDO, Fla. – Fairness. Sensitivity. Compassion.
As journalists, our role is to share vital information with you that may impact your community, your safety, your livelihood or your life.
With each possible story that comes in, our newsroom takes -- and will continue to take -- extra steps to consider the impact it will have on the reader, viewer and those on whom we are reporting to provide better crime coverage. To have fairness, sensitivity and compassion with both sides of a story.
It has always been and continues to be in our interest to be transparent with you -- because we do this for you. When we explained our coverage process about a shootout in Mount Dora and when we were at the center of a Twitter conspiracy, we addressed it. And this time, we are addressing our crime coverage process.
The world continues to evolve, and so does the way we report on our community. As a News 6 reader and viewer, we want to share the following questions -- and more -- that we ask ourselves when we determine how to cover each story.
The responsibility we hold, and the weight of that responsibility, is not something to be taken lightly. By considering the implications of a story from all angles, we better ourselves, provide in-depth coverage and get results.
To understand part of our process reporting a crime story, here are some questions we consider:
- Is there an immediate threat to public safety?
- Is there a threat to children?
- What community action is required?
- Is this a crime story we will see to the end?
- Do we have a good description?
- What crime was actually committed?
One of the principles of journalism is to “minimize harm,” and when we ask ourselves the questions above, we do just that.
“I am proud of our newsroom for taking such thoughtful care as they developed the guidelines they felt were important, not just for our own credibility and trustworthiness, but more importantly as to ensure they properly reflect the expectations of our community,” News 6 News Director Allison McGinley said.
This does not mean there will be stories that go unreported. It just means more thought will be put into each story to bring more value to you, our viewers and readers, as these stories are happening in your community.
When we are sent mugshots by police agencies, we consider if the level of the crime rises to the occasion to show and share someone’s photo that could be on the internet. Forever.
When a crime occurs, we consider if mental health is playing a role and whether we should name someone involved.
And when we ask ourselves these questions, in addition to many other questions, we consider the impact past the immediate moment and what it could mean long-term after a story is aired or posted on ClickOrlando.com.