#MuckedUp Tuesday chat: The etiquette book for crime and justice reporting
If you're to believe the wildly popular film Nightcrawler, the world of crime journalism is rife with rabid reporters and a pervasive, clichéed "if it bleeds, it leads" mentality. Of course, as usual, what sells tickets at the box office is a far cry from reality. Yet there is a pertinent point introduced by the flick: the sensitivity and ethical quandaries commonly faced by journalists in this arena. Crime reporting remains a minefield of obstacles, which range from delicate interactions with victims to avoiding interfering with an ongoing investigation, and plenty of opportunity for error. Moreover, it should come as no surprise that the police are usually the primary source for the crime beat, given its other well-known nickname "the cops beat"--but where do you turn when your primary source shuts down on you? How do you cultivate a good relationship with any source, really, given the frequently disturbing tone of the stories? Is there an etiquette book for all of this?