Bail Reform Helps Countless People. Why Don’t We Hear More of Their Stories?
Personal narratives can help the public understand the benefits of bail reform, but telling these success stories presents its own share of challenges.
Meet the California PR Firm Helping Cops Fight Off Bad Press
There’s a growing business crafting law enforcement narratives about police shootings and officer misconduct.
Critics Of Progressive Judges Find A Willing Ally In Local Newsrooms
With few exceptions, news outlets in Harris County, Texas, spotlight singular instances of crime to allege that legal reform policy is a threat to the public.
‘Weird News,’ ‘Dumb Criminals’ and the Media’s Monetization of Human Misery
There’s a cynical local-to-national news pipeline designed to mock the powerless under the guise of “odd” news stories.
How the Media Can Stigmatize Parents and Separate Families
Stories that uncritically blame child welfare agencies for the deaths of children at the hands of their parents can contribute to increases in child removals—with devastating consequences for families.
Uncritical Reporting on a Biased Baltimore Spy Plane Poll
A close examination of a poll backed by a business group reveals loaded questions, undisclosed conflicts of interest, and the shortchanging of very real privacy concerns.
Exploiting New York City’s Chinatown Killings to Attack Bail Reform
The New York Post used a tragedy to target bail reform activists, rather than point to the challenges of a failed mental health system and poverty.
A One-Sided Report on North Carolina Gun Violence
The Charlotte Observer built a narrative on gun crime that relies almost exclusively on police and prosecutors, ignores the violence of incarceration, and offers zero non-carceral solutions.
Helping ICE Stir Up Anti-Immigrant Fervor in Maryland
WJLA’s Kevin Lewis selectively reports on immigrants arrested for sex crimes to paint a misleading picture of violence in Montgomery County.
How Local Media Should Report on Safe Injection Sites
In a rare case of local media nuance, a Boston TV news station provided a humane and health-focused segment on safe drug use.
Report Praises High School in Jail But Fails to Ask Why Kids Are Locked Up at All
A Pittsburgh public radio piece lacked critical reporting about the many problems with jailing children in adult facilities.
Assuming Guilt While Reporting on Mass Arrests
Kansas City news outlets called scores of people ‘violent criminals’ based solely on the word of police and the federal government.
Bail Isn’t Supposed to Be a Punishment. Why Does the Media Keep Acting Like it Is?
How high or low bond is isn’t a measure of how severe the state considers a crime.
Painting a Distorted Picture of Crime ‘Spikes’ in New York City
Murder rates are at an all-time low in Brooklyn, but one would hardly know it reading the New York Times.
Sensationalist Tale of an Elderly Killer Feeds False Narrative
The New York Times’s coverage of the one-off case of a 77-year-old man omits key facts about how older adults are treated by our punitive legal system.
Stoking Hostility Toward Homeless People
Dozens of reports about an indigent man in Bradenton, Florida, showed the cruel excesses of local news’s homelessness coverage.
Media Frame: 5 Common Tactics Used to Discredit Reform D.A.s
The backlash is underway against a recent wave of prosecutors who champion criminal justice reform. Here are some methods of attack.
The Appeal Podcast: The Media’s Misguided Fentanyl Hype
With Appeal contributor Maia Szalavitz
Boston Globe Accused of ‘Willie Horton’-Style Fearmongering
Nineteen academics published a letter to the newspaper over its coverage of the Suffolk County DA.
Media Frame: Chicago ‘Bean’ Graffiti Outrage Prioritizes Property Over People
Outlets ran over 200 articles covering the vandalism. The outsize attention will likely damage young lives.
Media Frame: A ‘War on Cops’ Narrative Without Evidence
ABC News claims anti-police violence is on the rise but offers no data.
Media Frame: Time to Ban Ride-Along Police TV
Reality shows like ‘The First 48,’ ‘Live PD,’ and ‘Cops’ are interfering in legal cases, exploiting people of color, and threatening lives.
Media Frame: Stoking Panic Over ‘Flood’ of ‘Juveniles’ in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor
The sensationalist coverage of a handful of fights highlights local media’s misplaced priorities.
Justice in America Episode 15: Crime, Justice, and the Media
Josie and Clint discuss the power and pitfalls of crime reporting with Wesley Lowery of the Washington Post.