MEDIA COVERAGE OF CRIME CASES: EARLY TRAINING OF JOURNALISM STUDENTS
This analysis is an essential part of an Innovation in Teaching Project awarded to the 940820 Complutense University research group focused on crime coverage, journalistic practices and Journalism students training. The project includes several stages starting with the analysis of several cases of criminal news on Spanish television with the idea of detecting problems associated to journalistic practices based on dramatization of the information and its consequences on persuasive level.
Firstly, the research group analyzed TV crime news coverage in Spain: the case of the private Antena 3 and Tele 5. This analysis was conducted along with Journalism students and subsequently, the results were used in the preparation of a questionnaire including the following topics: respect for the presumption of innocence; spectacularization of the information; de-formation: hypertrophy of the transformation; perception, hipervisibility, hiperrealism, redundancy in the micro, hegemony of the present tense in speech, creation of non-places (atopic spaces, places of passage, of rapid transit), creation of neo-places as alternative spaces, collage effect.
Afterthat, a short survey aimed at Journalism and Criminology students was conducted. The results were interpreted comparatively.
Then, all results were presented and discussed in a discussion group that took place on June 16 in the Complutense University of Madrid. In the discussion participated journalists, lawyers, and professional organizations. All this, allows us to address the issue from different perspectives. All participants pointed out that TV constitute a separate world, dominated by the business logic and the pursuit of profit where criteria such as conflict, serialization, distorting events, absolute polarized views, sensationalism, are imposed. The recommendations of the professionals were considered for the next, final stage of the project.
The final stage includes the development of a set of recommendations aimed at the training of Journalism students. This tool will include also practical exercises and online resources.