IN FOCUS Discussion: Crime and the media

In Focus
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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – The relationship between crime and the media can be a complex and complicated one. Some stories grab the public’s attention for a little bit and then fade away. Some stay in the news cycle for a long time, and some don’t even get any coverage. Since the Gabby Petito case quickly rose and stayed in national headlines, our 7 p.m. team would like to pull back the curtain and discuss some of the factors that goes into this process.

ABC4’s Senior Crime and Punishment Correspondent Marcos Ortiz joined Rosie Nguyen for an IN FOCUS discussion. He talked about what made the Gabby Petito case so reportable, how the Petito case compares to the Chad and Lori Daybell case, whether he ever gets surprised by the stories that do or don’t get media coverage, his thoughts on Missing White Woman Syndrome, how social media plays a role in these cases, and how these types of cases shed a light on other issues like domestic violence.

Chris Burbank, vice president of law enforcement strategy for the Center for Policing Equity discussed how police typically view their relationship with media, when media coverage can help and hinder investigations, why he thinks the Gabby Petito case has remained in the news for so long, whether there are cases he wishes got more media coverage, his thoughts on Missing White Woman Syndrome, how social media plays a role in these cases, and what he would like to see change with media coverage of crime.

Brandon Merrill, executive director of Utah Homicide Survivors talked about the tricky line that family members of victims have to walk when it comes to media interviews, his thoughts on the Gabby Petito case, how these types of cases shed a light on other issues like domestic violence, his thoughts on Missing White Woman Syndrome, and what he would like to see change with media coverage of crime.

To watch the full IN FOCUS discussion with Ortiz, Burbank, and Merrill, click on the video at the top of the article.

Catch IN FOCUS discussions with ABC4’s Rosie Nguyen weeknights on the CW30 News at 7 p.m.

Rosie_Nguyen
Rosie Nguyen is an award-winning journalist who joined the ABC4 News team as a reporter in January 2018. In September 2020, she embarked on a new journey as the anchor for the CW30 News at 7 p.m. Although she’s not out in the field anymore, she is continuing her passion for social justice and community issues through the nightly “In Focus” discussions.

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